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Sightsavers is an international non-governmental organisation that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness, and promote equality for people with visual impairments and other disabilities. It is based in Haywards Heath in the United Kingdom, with branches in Sweden, Norway, India, Italy, Republic of Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA.The charity was founded in 1950 by Sir John Wilson and was originally called the British Empire Society for the Blind, then the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind. Its patron is HRH Princess Alexandra. In its 65 year history, Sightsavers has distributed treatment to protect more than 295 million people against river blindness (onchocerciasis), carried out 6.1 million sight-restoring cataract operations and treated 43 million people with antibiotics to combat the potentially blinding infection trachoma.