Dialog Champions Eliminating Avoidable Blindness and Access to Education
December 5th, 2023 Colombo
Photographed left to right: Dr. H.U.N. Disanayake, Medical Officer, K. Kirushan, Public Health Inspector (PHI), S.H.Y. Caffoor, Public Health Nursing Sister (PHNS), N. Swarnalatha, Special Grade Nursing Officer, Public Health (SPGNO), Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC, Dr. Champa P. Banagala, National Coordinator of Vision 2020 (Vision 2030 Insight) Programme, Dr. Kapila Banduthilake, President of College of Ophthalmologists of Sri Lanka, K.L.S. Silva, Public Health Nursing Sister (PHNS), Asanga Priyadarshana, Head of Sustainability and Group Chief of Risk and Compliance, Dialog Axiata PLC, Dr. C.M. Jayalath, Medical Officer In charge (MOIC)
Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, pledged its commitment to provide school children in need with spectacles, in celebration of World Sight Day, and as part of the Company’s Nethsuwaya programme conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Health’s V2030 initiative.
The announcement follows the company’s continued support of the national Vision 2020 programme that was launched in 2007 via Nethsuwaya. A joint venture between the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and spearheaded locally by the Ministry of Health, the programme aimed to reduce avoidable blindness through the implementation of a sustainable national programme as part of the National Health System. The College of Ophthalmologists of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, has launched Vision 2030 in order to continue the work of the project.
Dialog’s latest pledge will provide school children in-need with spectacles, as identified by the national School Medical Inspection programme which conducts eye clinics for school children on a regular basis. This year’s World Sight Day beneficiaries were chosen in line with the organisation’s commitment to supporting Sustainable Development Goal 4 i.e. Quality Education, on the basis that affected children now have access to overcoming a major obstacle in reaching their full potential. Over the years, Dialog has consistently led the way in supporting the education sector with initiatives including, Dialog Merit Scholarships, Nenasa TV, and Nenasa Smarts Schools. The company has invested over Rs. 1 Billion for these endeavours to date.
Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive of Dialog Axiata PLC said, “We are pleased to join forces with the Ministry of Health’s V2030 initiative through our Nethsuwaya programme, to ensure that every child gains the clarity to envision a brighter future. Aligned with our vision of empowering and enriching Sri Lankan lives, this initiative embodies our belief in fostering an inclusive society where potential knows no bounds.”
Since 2016, Dialog has conducted many eye camps, screened 27,363 patients and distributed 19,823 customised spectacles to those in need, particularly in rural areas, helping to reduce avoidable blindness and improve the quality of life for thousands of Sri Lankans.