Helen Keller International: Preventing Blindness in Africa


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Helen Keller International is an NGO dedicated to preventing blindness in Africa through vitamin A supplementation and Onchocerciasis control. For more information, see http://www.hki.org.

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Helen Keller International: Preventing Blindness in Africa

  1. 1. Helen Keller International Preventing Blindness in Africa February 2010
  2. 2. <ul><li>Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is the leading cause of blindness in children in the world today. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 140 million children, especially in Africa and Southeast Asia, suffer from VAD. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each year, up to 500,000 children, or up to 60 per hour, go blind because of vitamin A deficiency. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tragically, 70% of these children die within a year of losing their sight. </li></ul></ul>About Vitamin A Deficiency
  3. 3. Up to 500,000 Children Go Blind Each Year Because Of Vitamin A Deficiency © HKI/Wendy Lee
  4. 4. <ul><li>As many as half of the children in African countries suffer from vitamin A deficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>In Sierra Leone, for example, nearly 3 out of 10 children do not live to see their 5 th birthday. </li></ul><ul><li>The challenge : how to reverse the devastation caused by blindness and malnutrition. </li></ul>The Challenge in Africa
  5. 5. As Many as Half The Children in African Countries Suffer From Vitamin A Deficiency © HKI/Wendy Lee
  6. 6. <ul><li>Just two doses of high-potency vitamin A capsules are needed each year to prevent blindness in at-risk children, at a cost of just $1.00 per child per year. </li></ul><ul><li>Helen Keller International’s goal is to ensure that the capsules reach those most in need. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We work with local partners to distribute vitamin A capsules twice a year to children under five. </li></ul></ul>Helen Keller International: Providing Solutions to VAD in Africa
  7. 7. <ul><li>Vitamin A not only saves sight, it also saves lives by helping the immune system fight illness. </li></ul><ul><li>More than 41 million African children benefitted from our vitamin A supplementation programs last year. </li></ul>How Helen Keller International Prevents Vitamin A Deficiency
  8. 8. More than 41 million African children benefitted from our programs last year © HKI/Carol Stein
  9. 9. <ul><li>Onchocerciasis , is the world’s second-leading infectious cause of blindness , afflicting 18 million people, mostly in Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>Also known as river blindness, onchocerciasis is caused by parasitic worms that are transmitted through the bite of the black fly. </li></ul><ul><li>In Africa, 37 million people are infected with onchocerciasis and 89 million are at risk of infection. </li></ul>About Onchocerciasis
  10. 10. In Africa, 37 Million People Are Infected with Onchocerciasis © HKI
  11. 11. <ul><li>An annual dose of the drug Mectizan ® (ivermectin), generously donated by Merck & Co., Inc. , prevents symptoms for one year. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to eliminate onchocerciasis as a public health problem, the drug must be given to community members for 15-20 years, the life cycle of the worms. </li></ul>How Helen Keller International Helps Control Onchocerciasis
  12. 12. <ul><li>Helen Keller International trains and mobilizes vast networks of community volunteers to get Mectizan ® to the people who need it. </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to our efforts and these hardworking volunteers, onchocerciasis is on its way to being eliminated in Africa! </li></ul>How Helen Keller International Helps Control Onchocerciasis
  13. 13. Working with local volunteers, we are eliminating onchocerciasis in Africa! © HKI
  14. 14. Help Helen Keller International Save Sight & Lives in Africa: Donate Today! © HKI/Video for Good