International charity Sightsavers has announced that its End is in Sight appeal successfully raised more than £5m, with £2m provided through the UK Government’s match funding initiative.
The appeal was launched in February this year and aimed to raise funds to support the charity’s ambition of eliminating trachoma.
Trachoma is a preventable sight-threatening disease that can turn the eyelashes inwards and eventually leave people blind.
The funds raised through the Government’s match funding scheme will support eye health projects that Sightsavers works on in Tanzania.
Statistics released by the World Health Organization in June revealed that the number of people at risk of blinding trachoma has fallen by 91% in the last 17 years. Around 1.5 billion people were at risk of catching the disease in 2002, compared to 142 million today.
Sightsavers’ director of fundraising, Becki Jupp, said: “Trachoma has already been eliminated in several countries, such as Ghana. This achievement means millions of people no longer live with the pain, suffering and blindness it can cause. However, millions more people are still at risk of the disease so more work is needed.”
“We want to raise awareness of this horrific disease and encourage global communities to come together and end it,” she added.
Image credit: JasonMukita/Sightsavers