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Sunday, 17 October 2010

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John Keells provides 'Vision'

"What you have done for us cannot be measured, because we are now able to lead a normal life without being a burden to our children," said S.K. Bandara Menike, from Karagahaulpata, a small village in Keppetipola, Welimada - a beneficiary of the John Keells Vision Project.

A patient being examined by Consultant Eye Surgeon, Provincial General Hospital Badulla, Dr. Iddawela, at a Vision camp organised by John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation.

Since its launch in 2004, the John Keells Vision Project has continued to touch the lives of vision-impaired persons. 96 cataract operations have been successfully carried out since April 2010, taking the total number of operations to 3722.

In addition to carrying out cataract surgeries, spectacles too are donated, with a total of 1509 reading glasses and prescription spectacles provided to adults.

The most recent eye camps were held at the Kurupanawa Tea Factory, Malamulla and Ettampitiya, Bandarawela. While cataract is recognised as the most common cause of blindness in Sri Lanka, the tragedy is that, in the majority of cases, it is curable. But ignorance of this fact or the inability to purchase the required lens leads most patients to risk progressive blindness.

With many of them being the breadwinners of their families, this situation more often than not could have an adverse impact on the social as well as economic situation of entire families.

World Sight Day, October 14, brought together all stakeholders involved in restoring sight.

It was also the main advocacy event for the prevention of blindness and for 'Vision 2020: The Right to Sight' - a global effort created by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

The John Keells Vision Project which is primarily an islandwide cataract surgeries project is aligned with the WHO's 'Vision 2020' project and is implemented via the John Keells Social Responsibility Foundation.

Originally launched as `John Keells Vision 1000' in 2004/05, the Vision Project targeted to restore the eyesight of 1000 needy cataract patients throughout Sri Lanka. Since the original target was achieved (and exceeded) by 2005/06, the project was continued in 2006/07 under the amended name `John Keells Vision Project'.

 

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