So I was excited to read this year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates, as they have drawn attention specifically to these diseases which are part of a group called Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Neglected, not just because people haven't heard of them but because they are diseases of the most neglected people.
This week 69-year-old Winesi March, who has been blind for two years, will undergo life-changing surgery as the world watches. Twenty-four hours later anyone with an internet connection can rejoin Winesi and his family in rural Malawi as his bandages are removed and he sees his grandson for the first time.
In this modern day, society has been cultivated towards the productivity of the Internet and its many social media platforms. From Twitter, Facebook and YouTube with millions of people across the world accessing them on a daily basis it is no wonder that many are turning to the Internet to make new discoveries.
All too often disabled people are being hit the hardest by this Government's spending cuts. Many disabled people are struggling to make ends meet as they face long delays for assessment for PIP, have been hit by the bedroom tax and experience cuts to social care. In reality, the only way to keep spending below the newly announced welfare cap will be to restrict benefits for this same group.
In January last year I noticed that I was having difficulties reading emails and was having to squint to read small text. This was unusual for me as I had perfect vision my whole life. I immediately went to an optician and expected to be given glasses, but instead I was rushed to hospital because it turned out that I had profound vision loss in one eye...
There are real concerns that eye clinics across England are struggling to cope with current demand meaning that many patients are having their appointments, treatment and follow up care delayed or cancelled. These delays can lead to people going blind unnecessarily. At the minimum people are experiencing extreme worry and anxiety.