World Ophthalmology Congress Grants SightSavers An Outstanding Abstract Award

The recent Ophthalmology Congress held in Barcelona granted an Outstanding Abstract award to Sightsavers for the abstract that the organization has presented in the event. Sightsavers’ abstract is one among the 50 abstracts that was presented in the Congress.


Ophthalmological institutions and academics regularly submit their abstracts and research papers to the Ophthalmology Congress which is one of the most esteemed events in the profession. As such, the Congress receives thousands of such abstracts from researchers and ophthalmologist for their evaluation.


The Outstanding Abstract award is granted to ophthalmologist and researchers whose abstracts were found by the Congress to be of high scientific quality. An abstract is simply the summary of a longer scientific or research paper. A panel of reviewers evaluates every abstract submitted to the Congress.


The abstract presented by Sightsavers were co-authored by Thomas Engels, the organization’s health economist and Guillaume Trotignon, a research associate. Engels and Trotignon have conducted their research and investigation as to the willingness of low-income people from South Asia to buy spectacles. Extensive research was performed in the countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.


Seeing is Believing, the global community investment program of Standard Chartered Bank, together with Fred Hollows Foundation and Sightsavers joined forces to fund the extensive research. The information from the research can be used by eye care programs and policy makers in their efforts to reduce visual impairment in those who are marginalized and underprivileged.


One of the principal researchers, Thomas Engels, stated that he was very pleased that the eye care and academic community has given them an Outstanding Abstract award. He added that their program is heavily dependent on research. Sightsavers has also been granted the Independent Research Organization status recently by Research Councils UK. Engels said that this recognition has confirmed that the research work that they are conducting is indeed of high quality.


The objective of Sightsavers’ research paper which was summarized by the abstract is to stimulate willingness-to-pay or WTP for spectacles among the residents in the slum areas in three cities in South Asia, namely Lahore in Pakistan, Jaipur in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Sightsavers researchers found out that the poor in these countries were willing to pay for or contribute to the purchase of a pair of spectacles. In Pakistan, the poor are willing to pay US $6.3. The poor in India are willing to pay US $ 9.5 and in Bangladesh, they are willing to pay US $ 7.8.