QFFD and Orbis Project Delivers Hundreds of Sight-Saving Surgeries in First Three Months
Results announced on the International Day of Charity, which encourages global solidarity to tackle issues around the world
Qatar Creating Vision is a strategic partnership of Qatar Fund for Development, the international eye care charity Orbis, are working with partners in Ethiopia to provide vital treatments for vision loss. In the first quarter of the project, which falls under the Qatar Creating Vision initiative, over 430 operations have been undertaken for conditions such as cataract and trachoma trichiasis (TT), as well as providing over 130 prescriptions for pairs of glasses to improve the vision of patients in need of help.
Trachoma is a highly contagious disease, but it is easily preventable and treatable through the World Health organisation’s SAFE strategy: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial Cleanliness, Environmental improvements. In rural Ethiopia, the burden of the disease remains high, as medical support can be hard to reach and through repeated episodes of the infection in adults, extremely painful blinding TT can develop, which causes further pain.
The world’s leading cause of infectious blindness is far more prevalent in women than men, with women accounting for 70% of cases. Seventy four percent of patients receiving surgery for TT in the past three months were women, helping to address the significant gender imbalance.
Over the next two years, the project will be tackling trachoma and other sight loss conditions, with the aim of delivering over 300,000 services, including screenings, antibiotics, spectacles, and surgeries, to communities.
Alongside the delivery of services, case finders will be trained to identify trachoma and teachers to recognise refractive error, to find more people struggling with eye conditions. Vision loss can jeopardise educations and livelihoods, therefore community-based outreach programmes will help to direct people to the services they deserve.
HE Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development, stated: “It is with great pleasure to witness the three months positive impact of the Qatar Creating Vision initiative that reflected the strategic partnership with Orbis in the new phase in Ethiopia to advance vision health to disadvantaged communities in Ethiopia. QFFD will continue its commitment to strengthen healthcare access and health facilities to communities in need around the world.”
Between 2016 and 2020 in India and Bangladesh, thanks to the Qatar Fund for Development’s vital support, Orbis and their strategic partners provided more than 6 million eye tests and treatments, mainly to children, through Qatar Creating Vision. The project in Ethiopia is the first activity of Phase Two of the initiative.
Rebecca Cronin, CEO, Orbis UK stated: “With repeated infections, trachoma can cause a person’s eye lids to turn inwards and scrape against the cornea. Not only is this extremely painful it also causes lasting damage. Thanks to the Qatar Fund for Development, we were able to deliver eye care where it is most needed, with the aim of stopping the infection in its tracks.
“It’s vital that a programme also provides comprehensive services. Cataracts are very treatable, and thanks to QFFD’s support, people have received a surgery which will transform their life. Small interventions, such as receiving a pair of glasses, can also make a huge difference and help a child to study and enjoy school again. Avoidable blindness can rob people of so much, but with the necessary funding, the interventions are there, and they make a real difference.”
Orbis has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. With a close network of partners, they mentor and train local eye care teams – from community workers to doctors and nurses – so that they can save and restore vision in their communities.
- Geography Ethiopia
- Timeline 2022 - 2022
- SDGS Good Health
- Sector Health Care
- Partner Orbis