Sherritt International Corporation, generously donated $32,000 in December 2010 and $34,000 in July of 2011 toward Seva Canada’s efforts to help restore sight and prevent blindness in Madagascar. Sherritt’s contribution has provided much-needed funding for critical diagnostic and treatment equipment. The final piece of equipment has now been installed and is in use.
Much needed equipment provided by Sherritt in use in Madagascar
Seva is working in Madagascar, one of the poorest countries in the world, developing eye care programs for children and adults. The work is expanding quickly due to the support of key personnel in both government and health. “Most of the blindness in Madagascar is preventable or treatable, either with basic surgery or through the provision of low-cost prescription glasses,” says Penny Lyons, Executive Director of Seva Canada. Restoring eyesight is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce poverty according to the World Health Organization and has a ripple effect for generations.
Sherritt’s donation, through Seva’s program, brings eye care to those most in need in the Atsinanana region of eastern Madagascar, including the city of Toamasina. Although Atsinanana has some regional eye care services there are significant gaps in surgical and diagnostic equipment as well as in well trained medical staff and community eye care workers. Sherritt’s contribution has provided an operating microscope, applanation tonometer and motorised table, slit lamp, instrument sterilization, an autorefractor/keratometer and much more essential surgical and diagnostic equipment required for the success of the program.
Seva, in partnership with the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), is one of the largest providers of eye care in the country. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 14,000 blind people in Astinanana region of Madagascar and 42,000 with visual impairment.