CBM celebrates 30 years of partnership in Madagascar

CBM and its partners have celebrated 30 years of partnership in providing inclusive development for people affected by disabilities in Madagascar.

CBM Regional Director Dave McComiskey commemorates 30 years of partnership in Madagascar.CBM's Regional Director for Southern Africa - Dave McComiskey, commemorates 30 years of partnership in Madagascar. Photo: CBM.

The 30 year Anniversary celebration was marked by a multilingual thanksgiving service at the International Parish Church, Andohalo, Antananarivo.

This was followed by a reception, during with CBM Regional Director for Southern Africa, Dave McComiskey, commended the local partners for their work during the past 30 years, and looked forward to the continuing partnership.

Representatives of the Minister of Health and the Minister for Population for Madagascar were also in attendance.

Working with partners

CBM has increased its local partnerships enabling growth of 14 essential programmes that provide medical, surgical, educational and livelihood development. Today, our work in Madagascar covers the areas of special education for persons with visual and hearing impairments, prevention of blindness and hearing loss, surgery, community-based rehabilitation (CBR) and training of ophthalmlic paramedics.

"Much has been achieved, but the process of inclusive development will take time. CBM realises this, and is committed to the long haul; Madagascar will remain a CBM priority country for many years to come" - Mike Davies OBE, CBM UK's Head of Programme Development

CBM and its partners continue to remove the barriers that marginalise people with disabilities in the region. We are proud to have been instrumental in preparing the national policy papers for blindness prevention, prevention of hearing loss, and disability in Madagascar.

Starting out

CBM began its work in Madagascar in 1977. In 1981 it started supporting the School for the Deaf of the Malagasy Lutheran Church, FOFAMA, in Antsirabe. That same year, Dr. Joseph Taylor, CBM Medical Advisor for Eastern Africa, paid a visit to Madagascar, paving the way for the first Eye Medical Programme in partnership with the Lutheran Church.

Madagascar is the fourth biggest island in the world, with a population of 20 million, half of whom are living in poverty. It is estimated that around 1% of the population is blind, half of which is due to cataract; with the other common causes being glaucoma and corneal scarring.

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