A CHANCE to see the results of fund-raising in action was too good to miss for Montrose Inner Wheel member Trish Douglas, who will travel to Uganda next week.
Inner Wheel is this year supporting Sightsavers as its nominated charity and, as chairwoman of the Great Britain and Ireland association overseas service committee, Mrs Douglas will tour some of the charity’s projects to see first-hand how it is helping to change lives in the area.
Her week-long trip will include visits to clinics and schools in and around the capital city Kampala to watch treatment and education programmes in action.
Two of Sightsavers’ main concerns are the conditions river blindness and trachoma, both of which affect millions of people and can lead to permanent sight-loss but both of which are treatable.
River blindness, which affects around 35 million, is a parasitic disease caused by a worm. Larvae are spread by the black simulium fly, which breeds in fast-flowing rivers, through its bites. Once inside the body, thousands of tiny worms spread and, if they reach the eye, can blind the sufferer.
Trachoma is a painful bacterial infection which can lead to the eyelid turning inwards causing the eyelashes to scrape against the eyeball, damaging the cornea. It is spread by unwashed hands and flies. Both conditions can be treated cheaply with antibiotics and anti-parasitic medication.
Mrs Douglas said: “As I’m the committee chairwoman I’ve chosen a charity with which we’ll work very closely. I supported Sightsavers when I was responsible for overseas at district level and was so impressed I decided to support it again.
“I’m really looking forward to the trip. It’s all very well raising the money but it’s fantastic to see projects that Inner Wheel is helping to fund and I’m really excited about visiting schools and clinics.
“I will have to watch some operations, and I’m not sure I’m so keen on that, but it will be amazing to see the difference it makes to people.”