The MacArthur Foundation today unveiled CBM and coalition partners submitted one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.
The Top 100 represent the top 21 percent of competition submissions. The proposals were rigorously vetted, undergoing MacArthur’s initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project. Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable.
MacArthur’s Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.
Presenting our proposal - ‘Vision 4 Africa’: Joining Forces to Tackle the Blindness Crisis
An estimated 20 million people across Africa are blind or visually impaired, more than 75% of which is completely avoidable. The World Health Organization projects that population growth, aging, and disease-related eye conditions will triple the rate of global blindness by 2050. This is an urgent problem that needs an immediate solution.
Vision 4 Africa is a consortium of the four largest global eye health organisations: CBM, Orbis International, Sightsavers, and the Fred Hollows Foundation. We share a commitment to preventing the tripling of global blindness.
CBM along with our partners commits to building a strong and sustainable eye care system across Africa that provides critical services and meets future needs through:
- Training: develop skills of eye health workers at every level
- Treatment: address surgical backlogs and build robust referral pathways
- Teamwork: engage governments to make long-term investments in eye care.
Our focus is on the two leading causes of blindness: cataract and Refractive Error. We aim to screen the eyes of 17 million people by expanding community and primary level services. We will provide over 380,000 sight-restoring cataract surgeries by bringing services closer to the people who need them. And we will provide glasses to 270,000 people, including school children, through stronger optical services and school health programs.
Restoring sight is not restricted to just medical interventions and treatment. It has a multiplier effect – leading to dignified lives, independence and opportunities not just for the individual but for their families as well. Family members (particularly women and girls) are freed up from daily caregiving activities and can pursue activities to fulfil their potential. Efforts to prevent blindness are simple, fast and life changing, and they are among the most cost effective in the world.
‘We at CBM are thrilled to be among the top 100 proposals for the MacArthur Grant. We are now one step closer to helping improve the quality of eye care & tackle avoidable blindness in Africa. I am sure this motivation will make us all work very hard to get to the last mile so that we can support more people in need of improvement in sight.’Dr. Babar Qureshi, Inclusive Eye Health Director