World Water Day offers us an opportunity think about some of the challenges facing those of us working in the field of infectious diseases and how working alongside those in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector could improve impacts across the board.
The Social Inclusion Working Group at Sightsavers has welcomed its first inspiring speaker, Lady Jean Wilson, whose husband, Sir John Wilson, founded Sightsavers in 1950.
The working group, which has members across all departments of Sightsavers, aims to make sure everything we do both in terms of our programmes and operations is fully inclusive and accessible to everyone.
Early intervention is recognised as crucial in mitigating and preventing developmental disabilities. Yet services for early intervention are rare in India and non-existent in the rural areas. After an assessment at our government hospital-based centre, this project provides families with follow up services for their children in their own communities. Local level health and childcare workers were trained to identify and refer children and parents meet our team regularly to update their skills and monitor their own kids.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) affect over one billion of the world’s poorest people. Sightsavers, with additional funding from the UK government, is helping to eliminate two significant NTDs: onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis. Both are debilitating diseases caused by parasite infections.
The family also had to contend with the lack of running water, which was turned off from 5.30am to 8.30am everyday, and the frequent power cuts that were affecting Ghana at the time.