News and notices. Comm Eye Health Vol. 18 No. 55 2005. October 10, 2005

Scholarships for training in small incision cataract surgery: the Seeing is Believing Programme

In 2003, issue number 48, there was a major feature on manual small incision cataract surgery (SICS).

The Seeing is Believing * SICS training programme is helping contribute to one million sight restorations. The advantages of the SICS technique are clear:

From the patient’s perspective:

  • faster recovery of good vision
  • faster return to normal activities
  • good vision in a matter of days instead of weeks or even months
  • return home within hours of the procedure
  • reduced cost of consumables
  • reduced number of outpatient visits needed.

From the providers perspective:

  • reduced chances of surgically induced astigmatism or ruptured sutures
  • quick; which means more operations can be undertaken per list
  • lower cost for consumables (no suture required)
  • fewer outpatient follow up visits, as less astigmatism, and no sutures to remove
  • better wound stability.

Seeing is Believing is a four year programme supported by Standard Chartered Bank, which aims to restore sight to one million people in ten countries by World Sight Day, 2007. One component of the programme entails offering scholarships to ophthalmologists in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Kenya in SICS. The SICS scholarship scheme offers partial funding up to a maximum of $500. Training has already started in India and Pakistan. Bangladesh and Kenya are developing availability. Application for this training is open to public/NGO sector surgeons (as opposed to private) with good microsurgical skills and who already do approximately 1,000 ECCE/IOL surgeries per year. Some candidates may be accepted at lower rates of output. In India the focus is on NGO/charity sector surgeons as other grants from the MoH may be available for government surgeons. The Seeing is Believing scholarship has an application process that identifies those surgeons who will best contribute to the objectives of the Seeing is Believing programme.

If your work specifically makes cataract surgery available for needy people, you have a history of high output and high quality ECCE/IOL surgery, and you would like to undertake this training, please send for further details. You should email Sight Savers International (SSI) for an application form and more details, depending on your country of residence, as follows:

India: Ranjish Kattady at [email protected]

Pakistan: Niazullah Khan at [email protected]

Bangladesh: Dr Enamul Kabir at [email protected]


No other subsidiary correspondence will be entered into. The final choice of candidates rests with SSI Head Office in the UK.

* “Seeing is Believing” is a corporate social responsibility programme of Standard Chartered Bank who are working in collaboration with Sight Savers International (SSI). It is a ten-country international initiative, with SSI as lead agency, delivered through partners of SSI, Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM), The Fred Hollows Foundation, Helen Keller International and ORBIS. It features service delivery, infrastructure development, equipment supply, medicines & consumables, and training. Training for SICS is also being developed in Sri Lanka and Thailand, but are outside the scholarship scheme. The primary objective of “Seeing is Believing” is a joint effort to contribute towards one million sight restorations by World Sight Day in October 2007. Peter Renew. Sight Savers International. UK. [email protected]

News and notices in Comm Eye Health Vol. 18 No. 55 2005 –