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CBM is a member of ICEVI (International Council for the Education of Persons with Visual Impairment)
Read about CBM and vision

World Sight Day 2016

© CBM/argum/Einberger
12 year old Fortune has very low vision. He attends a school for visually impaired children in Ndola, Zambia. He is regularly examined at a CBM partner hospital - Kitwe Central Hospital and has been provided with glasses to improve his vision.

World Sight Day, celebrated this year on October 13, is an annual day of awareness around blindness and visual impairment.

What is World Sight Day?

The rolling theme for the World Sight Day is ‘Universal Eye Health’. The ‘Call to Action’ this World Sight Day is ‘Stronger Together’. On this day, NGOs, DPOs and civil organisations all come together to raise public awareness of blindness & vision impairment as major international public health issues and also influence Governments and Ministers of Health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes.

Celebrate World Sight Day with CBM

50 years of combatting cataracts

9 year old Makpela and 13 year old Makson are brothers in Cameroon. Both were born with bilateral cataract. They were then dentified by a CBM fieldworker and successfully operated.

2016 marks 50 years since CBM’s first cataract surgery. In 1966, New Zealand physician Dr.Howard Harper carried out the first CBM sponsored cataract surgery at the Noor Eye Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since then CBM has carried out over 13 Million cataract operations – in 2015 alone we supported 1262 interventions every single day.

Miracles Day in Australia

©CBM Australia
CBM Australia staff celebrate over 27,500 on Miracles Day
On 25 August this year CBM Australia celebrated Miracles Day to raise money for cataract patients.

Generous Australians have donated nearly AUD$ 900,000 to those who need it most. Miracles Day fundraising will be used to conduct sight saving surgeries including cataract; preventative treatments; buy spectacles and low vision devices as well as train doctors and health staff; eye screening in schools and communities; ensuring the poorest and those with disability are included. (Interesting fact: Through CBM, $32 can fund a 12-minute cataract operation, helping restore sight to someone who would otherwise continue living with blindness.) 26 Christian Radio Stations from around Australia promoted Miracles Day to their listeners. Five radio stations broadcast LIVE after visiting our CBM partner hospital in Vietnam.

CBM Australia’s Director of Fundraising, Heath McSolvin says - “This year marks the tenth anniversary of Miracles Day. It’s been such an honour to see it grow from humble beginnings of one radio station, to a National campaign with 26 Christian Radio Stations involved. Through a lot of hard work, and God’s blessing, we’ve seen ‘Miracles Day’ steadily increase awareness and funds to help people with disabilities living in some of the poorest parts of the world. We’re so thankful for all involved, our radio partners, our staff, volunteers and most importantly our generous supporters.”

Download our reports

58 year old Therese is blind due to onchocerciasis. She and her family receives Mectizan for free from CBM partner, the Ministry of Health in DRC.Her granddaughter Davina helps out with household chores.
CBM NTD Report 2016:
More than 1 billion people – one-sixth of the world’s population – are affected by one or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and another 2 billion people are at risk, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics. Take a look at our Neglected Tropical Diseases Report 2016 for more information about our work with NTDs.

Inclusive eye health:
‘Inclusion Made Easy in Eye Health Programs’ is designed for program staff in international development organisations. It is a brief, practical guide on how to ensure eye-health programs are disability-inclusive.

CBM Participation in IAPB GA

16 year old Yabunnesh is blind in one eye and has low vision in the other, and is in grade 8. Yabunnesh and her classmates receive CBM-funded school feeding every day.
From 27 to 30 October 2016 CBM will attend the 10th General assembly of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in Durban, which will be attended by about 1600 delegates from leading organisations around the world. This meeting is of paramount importance to build partnerships and ensure a unified voice across the eye health sector.

CBM is a sponsor and program partner of the 10th General assembly of the IAPB. Dr.Babar Qureshi (Senior Advisor on Eye Health and Director for NTDs at CBM) and David Lewis (Director of Strategic Programmes at CBM Australia) will be conducting a course ‘Inclusion made easy in Eye Health programmes'.

Follow live coverage of the event on Facebook, Twitter and the CBM blog.


David Bainbridge
World Sight Day always serves as a critical reminder of the need for global attention on blindness and vision impairment. These issues are at the heart of CBM’s work worldwide as we seek to prevent and treat avoidable or curable blindness and to improve the quality of life of visually impaired persons in the poorest countries of the world. This years also marks a milestone in CBM, having conducted cataract surgeries now for 50 years, with over 13 million surgeries conducted to date. Our commitment however goes well beyond surgeries alone, as we seek to strengthen eye health systems and services which are high quality, comprehensive and inclusive - David Bainbridge, Chief Programme Officer, CBM International

More reading

CBM publishes its NTD Report 2016

The NTD Report 2016 provides details of our work in NTDs in 17 countries across the globe.



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