Gift of Sight Campaign – Changing lives in Ghana

The Gift of Sight Campaign

This year, our parent company Halma launched their Gift of Sight campaign. A partnership with the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) who work to eradicate preventable and curable blindness. Halma launched The Gift of Sight campaign to raise awareness of the global issue of preventable blindness and to use their platform to help raise money for this fantastic cause.

As part of this campaign all companies in the Halma group, including Palintest, were involved in fundraising activities. In addition, every Halma employee around the world was given the opportunity to have an eye screening, and for each person who had their eyes screened, Halma donated to the HCP. A documentary showcasing the life-changing work that the HCP do in Ghana was created.

Halma have worked with HCP since 2017 and launched this campaign to continue their efforts of tackling preventable blindness. Cataracts are a huge problem in Ghana, they are the main cause of blindness and low vision. Loss of vision can severely impact a person’s life; making everyday tasks impossible. In Ghana there are very few treatment facilities capable of doing cataract surgery, and those that can are unable to keep up with demand. On World Sight Day Halma embarked on a mission to do more to help those suffering with preventable blindness – The Gift of Sight Campaign. In total the Halma Group raised a total of $200,000; this will help fund 8,000 life-transforming eye-surgeries.

The Palintest team got involved in the campaign by doing their own fundraising for Gift of Sight, along with each having their eyes screened.  As a key contributor to the campaign, Palintest were delighted to send one of their team members to Ghana where the money raised by Palintest and Halma was being used to perform life-changing eye surgeries. Here our Innovation Scientist, Samantha Lunn who represented Palintest in Ghana, gives her account of this amazing week.

Samantha’s Visit

I was extremely lucky to take part in a surgical outreach week at the Cape Coast in Ghana with Halma and the Himalayan Cataract Project. During the outreach week I was able to assist in many stages of sight-saving eye surgeries. I am very grateful to have not only seen the impact of our work but have also had the opportunity to take part and meet the inspiring patients.

During my visit I saw patients ranging from 6 – 115 years old; the majority were elderly farmers who had cataracts in both eyes and therefore had been unable to see properly for many years. We assisted in many stages of the procedure including putting drops in the patient’s eyes to dilate the pupils, moving the patients between sections, cleaning the eyes before surgery and removing the patches 24 hours later. All the patients remained incredibly calm after waiting for up to 40 hours.

The whole experience was incredible. The work of Halma and the HCP is fantastic, and I’m delighted to be taking away so many amazing and unforgettable moments

The Future

During the outreach week the team completed 713 eye surgeries, which turns out to be a new national record. Cataracts are such a huge problem in Ghana and many other parts of the world, with many more people waiting for surgery. Following this week, Halma have continued to more life-changing surgeries for the next 10 weeks. To find out more please visit: https://www.halma.com/news/press-releases/2019/halmas-gift-of-sight-funds-8000-operations

Halma is a global group of life saving companies with a clear purpose to grow a safer, cleaner and healthier for everyone, every day.

Images by: Simon Waller, Halma

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