Today, SEE International joins the global health community to observe World Sight Day 2018, to raise awareness about avoidable blindness. Designated by the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), World Sight Day aims “to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.”
According to the World Health Organization, 253 million people worldwide are visually impaired, 36 million of whom are blind. Alarmingly, the number of blind people around the globe is expected to triple by the year 2050. However, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.
The common obstacle our patients face is a lack of access to essential eye care. We know, though, that Freedom is in Sight.
This year’s World Sight Day call to action is “Eye Care Everywhere.” That is precisely what SEE International aims to provide. By the end of 2018, SEE will provide transformative surgical care to approximately 40,000 patients. We are fortunate to work with an amazing community of humanitarians and philanthropists to bring care to everyone, no matter where they live.
SEE’s volunteers and supporters make it possible for us to provide care in over 40 countries around the world, and help build skills and capacity so our partners can provide high-quality care year-round. We hope you will join us as we continue to make an impact, both around the world and here in the U.S..
Our ultimate goal is for every community to have self-sufficient eye care for generations to come.
2018 SEE International Humanitarian of the Year Awards
Each year, SEE recognizes two of our amazing SEE Docs on the occasion of World Sight Day. These are SEE Docs who go above and beyond, and who stand out from their peers through their dedication and humanitarian spirit.
Dr. Randy Rottman
Dr. Randy Rottman is an ophthalmologist from Grand Junction, Colorado, who has volunteered with SEE since 2007.
Dr. Rottman has served patients through SEE clinics in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Namibia, Ecuador, Honduras, and Peru. In these communities around the world, Dr. Rottman has helped patients and their families live healthier, more full lives by donating his time and expertise.
Dr. Rottman is also committed to creating access to care for underserved patients in the U.S.. As SEE expands it’s programs in the U.S., Dr. Rottman has already helped make an impact in Colorado and South Dakota. SEE has been able to help an additional 1,400 patients in the U.S. through working with Dr. Rottman so far in 2018.
In recognition of his efforts both internationally and here in the U.S., Dr. Rottman is SEE International’s U.S.-based Humanitarian of the Year for 2018.
Dr. Wanjiku Ciku Mathenge
Dr. Ciku Mathenge is an ophthalmologist based in Kigali, Rwanda, where she leads the efforts of the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology (RIIO). Dr. Mathenge has worked with SEE in our efforts against preventable blindness in Kenya and Rwanda.
Dr. Mathenge is both a practicing surgeon and an international public health leader. She received her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2011 researching glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration in Africa.
While Dr. Mathenge has made an impact by directly providing care to underserved patients, she has also laid the groundwork for sustainable growth in African ophthalmology. Dr. Mathenge has focused on raising the surgical skill and research capabilities of African ophthalmologists in both Kenya and Rwanda.
In 2018, Dr. Mathenge has been almost wholly committed to the establishment of an ophthalmology residency program at RIIO, where she is creating the first residency program in the country. Working with international partners, Dr. Mathenge’s vision is for RIIO to have one of, if not the finest residency programs in Africa.
In recognition of her commitment to service and sustainable impact, Dr. Mathenge is SEE’s 2018 internationally-based Humanitarian of the Year.