CBM in Numbers

A global operation, CBM's core activities

By providing comprehensive development aid and support to people with disabilities or at risk in the neediest communities of the world to reduce poverty and work towards empowerment and inclusion, CBM reached millions of persons in 2017. They came from all walks of life and from different cultures – CBM offers help irrespective of religion and actively promotes inclusion of women and girls.

In 2017, CBM was active in 54 countries, supported 530 projects, worked with 376 partner organisations and reached 9.18 million people through CBM's core activities. CBM core activities comprise of medical services, community based inclusive development work and education programmes; medical services include medical eye care, services for ear and/or orthopaedic conditions, mental health and other medical diseases or disabilities. We achieved this with the generous support of over one million active donors and a programme expenditure of 79.95 million euro.

A comprehensive approach, CBM’s core activities in more detail

28 year old Saritha was affected by cataracts in both her eyes and was then operated on by a CBM partner in India.


9,181,297 people received services in core activities from CBM's partners in 2017 through:

  1. medical services
  2. access to education
  3. community based inclusive development work.

1. Medical services

8,607,066 people received medical services:

  • 7,547,706 - Vision - Eye Health
  • 571,719 - Ear & Hearing Care
  • 331,056 - Physical / Orthopaedic conditions
  • 88,584 - Community Mental Health
  • 68,001 - Other medical services

225,572 people were either referred to the above medical services and/or rehabilitation services or they received personal assistance to be able to access these services.

  • 7,547,706 people received medical eye services.
  • 585,270 operations were performed, of which 413,468 were cataract surgeries, of which 40,964 cataract surgeries helped children.
  • 520,104 spectacles and low vision devices were provided or dispensed
  • 17,804 sessions for skills training related to low vision were realized
  • 84,578 support of skills for daily living, orientation and mobility

Furthermore, the following professionals participated in trainings to enable our partner organisations and enhance local and national capacity:

  • 1,014 eye doctors trained
  • 1,447 eye nurses/ophthalmic medical assistants trained
  • 860 optometrists/refractionists trained

CBM was honoured to receive the prestigious António Champalimaud Vision Award for 2017 for its work in actively seeking to empower individuals disabled by blindness.

  • 571,719 people received medical services in Ear and Hearing Care
  • 8,804 operations were performed and 109,094 medical ear treatments (non-surgical) provided.
  • 4,272 hearing aids, amplification devices were provided or dispensed
  • 124,414 audiograms and other audiological (hearing) tests performed
  • 108,500 communication (speech therapy/sign language) sessions provided.

Furthermore, the following professionals participated in trainings to enable our partner organisations and enhance local and national capacity:

  • 62 Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists/hearing physicians
  • 93 ENT nurses or assistants
  • 134 audiologists/audiometrists
  • 189 communication/speech therapists.

331,056 people received medical services for orthopaedic conditions.

  • 20,627 operations were performed, such as:
  • 4,060 clubfeet
  • 789 cleft lip/palate
  • 348 Vesico-vaginal fistula
  • 3,051 Other plastic/reconstructive conditions incl. burns
  • 4,133 fractures / trauma
  • 1,980 osteomyelitis / infections
  • 2,151 limb deformities
  • 4,115 other operations
  • 43,516 assistive devices like wheelchairs, tricycles, ortheses, prostheses, mobility aids, crutches, walkers, etc. were provided or dispensed.
  • 442,467 physiotherapy / occupational therapy sessions and
  • 31,070 treatments for club foot manipulation were performed

Furthermore, the following professionals participated in trainings to enable our partner organisations and enhance local and national capacity:

  • 233 orthopaedic specialists
  • 215 orthopaedic nurses or assistants
  • 1,106 physical/ occupational therapists.

88,584 people received community mental health services.
14% of our projects have a community mental health focus/element and 127,723 psychosocial therapy/counselling sessions were provided.

Furthermore, the following professionals participated in trainings to enable our partner organisations and enhance local and national capacity:

  • 190 psychiatrists/psychologists
  • 884 psychiatric nurses
  • 146 psychologists
  • 564 social workers, patient counsellors.

2. Inclusive Education

7 year old Mercy's vision in her left eye weas saved thanks to a surgery by a CBM partner in India. she attends a mainstream school and loves to learn.


46,431 persons with disabilities were enrolled or registered in education projects, of which 39,008 were children.

CBM promotes access to education for girls, boys, women and men with disability. This includes adaptations of schools, professional training of teachers and improvement of learning materials.

19,136 teachers trained:

  • 15,839 regular teachers and
  • 3,297 specialist teachers

Furthermore, 6,201 parents/care-givers were trained to teach a person with disabilities at home or to support them in school with simple educational techniques. 25,337 trainings in education were carried out.

CBM strengthens local and national education systems by training teachers, thereby enabling students with disability to access education services.

3. Community Based Inclusive Development (CBID)

527,800 persons with disabilities enrolled in CBID projects of which 39% were children. 43% of our projects have a CBID approach.

As part of CBM‘s comprehensive programme work 50,399 persons accessed our inclusive livelihood programmes:

  • 20,033 persons received vocational training
  • 14,156 persons obtained employment
  • 16,210 persons obtained financial services, of which 7,469 persons obtained financial services from mainstream organisations.

Other key areas (additional to CBM's core activities)

Apart from CBM's core activities, we are reaching many more people through our work in Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), Inclusive Emergency Response, Disability Inclusive Development (DID) and Empowerment including Safeguarding.

Over 52 million persons benefitted from Mass Drug Administration (MDA) - community treatments in a public health approach. To know more, read our NTD Report 2017.

With over a billion people affected, Neglected Tropical Diseases represent a huge current and future cause of disability. CBM continues to play a role in the prevention of disability, through Mass Drug Administration (MDA) for the five preventive chemotherapy NTDs (see below). CBM also supports the improvement of hygiene and sanitation measures - relevant to all NTDs, but particularly to trachoma prevention.

  • 23.1 million treatments for blinding onchocerciasis (river blindness) and trachoma
  • Nearly 34.8 million treatments for non-blinding, disabling NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis)

Note: the total number of persons benefitting from MDA is less than the sum of treatments, because a person may be treated for more than one disease.

Additionally, we reached people in the CBM supported mandate area of Inclusive Emergency Response:

93,522 people reached by CBM’s Inclusive Emergency Response, 14% of which are persons with disabilities.

CBM humanitarian work aims to reach the entire community, specifically ensuring inclusion of persons with disabilities and other most at-risk groups. By not targeting only persons with disabilities this follows the humanitarian principle of impartiality and fosters inclusive rebuilding of affected communities.

In 2017, the CBM Emergency Response Unit (ERU), with partners, responded to 11 emergency situations worldwide. These interventions were implemented in eight countries and covered tropical storms, flooding, drought, mudslide and conflict:

  • Drought, Ethiopia (2016-2017)
  • Hurricane Matthew, Haiti and Cuba (October 2016)
  • Conflict/food crisis, Nigeria (October 2016)
  • Typhoon Noct-ten (Nina), Philippines (December 2016)
  • Cyclone Enawo, Madagascar (March 2017)
  • Cyclone Mora, Bangladesh (May 2017)
  • Flooding, Nepal (August 2017)
  • Mudslide, Sierra Leone (August 2017)
  • Flooding, Bangladesh (August 2017)
  • Hurricane Irma, Haiti (September 2017)
  • Refugee crisis, Rohingya, Bangladesh (November 2017)

Some of these were ongoing from 2016, some started and finished in 2017 and some are ongoing into 2018. Average project duration was just over five months.   

Furthermore, empowerment is a key driver to achieve inclusion of persons with disabilities as equal members of their community. Disability Inclusive Development (DID) and Empowerment are key features across all of CBM’s core areas of work and the persons reached in related activities are to be counted additionally:

338,467 members of peer groups, self help groups and DPOs, that have been established or facilitated in order to strengthen the voice and influence of persons with disabilities.

95,122 government representatives and representatives of non-governmental and civil society organisations have participated in workshops on disability inclusion in 2017.

  • 52% of our projects were involved in advocacy work to influence local or national policy on disability
  • 56% of the projects were involved at the community level to create awareness about the rights of persons with disabilities
  • 12,695 persons participated in trainings or workshops on Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction - IDRR.

In order to make our programme work safe for children, CBM supported training on child safeguarding:

  • 5,456 staff at partner organisations participated in safeguarding trainings
  • 57,977 participants of our projects’ target group were sensitised and trained in special courses on awareness of child's rights and/or safeguarding standards.