100,000 people to benefit from improved eye care services in Zimbabwe

Posted on: Monday, 23rd November, 2015

"CBM UK has launched a new $1.2 million programme to prevent avoidable blindness and improve access to eye health services for 100,000 people across Zimbabwe.

This three-year project is the result from CBM’s partnership with the Seeing is Believing initiative, a programme run by Standard Chartered in collaboration with International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The project will improve eye care services for thousands of adults and children across the country, in conjunction with the Zimbabwean Health Ministry and the Zimbabwean Council for the Blind.

“We are delighted to launch this new programme to prevent blindness and visual impairment in Zimbabwe”, says CBM UK’s International Programme Director, James Thornberry. “In poor communities, losing your sight often means losing out on education, earning a living or independence. By improving eye care services, we can prevent or treat the vast majority of conditions that cause blindness, making a real difference to the lives of individuals, as well as their families and communities”.

The programme will fund projects aligned to the government’s national eye care plans and strengthen and extend eye care provision at Sekuru Kaguvi Hospital children’s eye unit, Norton and Sakubva hospitals eye units. It will also put Zimbabwe on track to complete the targets it had been set by the international Vision 2020 initiative.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) around 125,000 people are affected by some form of visual impairment in Zimbabwe. In 80% of cases, this is a result of avoidable or treatable causes such as cataracts.

Ralph Watungwa, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered said, “Standard Chartered’s decision to make this investment reinforces the bank’s commitment to contribute positively to the economies and communities where it operates, a key part of the bank’s ‘Here for good’ brand promise.”

Thanks to more than a decade of partnership between CBM and Seeing is Believing, many thousands of people have been able to access to sight-saving eye care services in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Peru, the Philippines and Nepal."

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