Highlighting our Work on World Sight Day 2020

This image shows older women wearing colourful saris and sunglasses, sitting on a bench in a hospital and smiling at the camera.

Women from India and Nepal travel far and wide to our partner - Biratnagar Eye Hospital in Nepal to undergo cataract surgeries for better vision.
© CBM

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness around blindness and visual impairment. This year it will be celebrated on 8 October, with the theme ‘Hope in Sight’.

What is World Sight Day?

1 billion people around the world have a preventable vision impairment and 80% of the world’s blind are avoidably so. 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 2020 with CBM

Commemorating 15 million cataract operations

This photo shows a 3 year old girl wearing a white dress playing with a balloon with an African man wearing a CBM Tshirt.

Thanks to all our wonderful donors, CBM was able to carry out the 15 millionth cataract operation this year! The recipient of our 15 millionth cataract operation was a three-year-old child, Nakisinde in Uganda. CBM has reached this milestone thanks to our doctors working tirelessly to provide eyesight for the past 53 years.

Read Nakisinde’s story here

CBM plays an important role in making Myanmar trachoma-free

Myanmar has become the latest country to eliminate trachoma – the world’s leading infectious cause of preventable blindness - after validation results were announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in September 2020.

Through its longstanding commitment CBM has supported the government of this South-East-Asian country and worked in partnership with WHO, local and international organisations to achieve this milestone in the fight against avoidable blindness and NTDs. Read more about our contribution here.

Inclusive eye health guidance note for COVID-19

To support our partners in our programme countries, a guidance note for COVID-19 has been developed to support our eye health partners and communities they serve, in their efforts to combat this global health crisis.

Our work in Neglected Tropical Diseases

In September 2020 CBM participated virtually in the annual NTD NGDO Meeting, which was attended by a record 1000 global participants from 80 countries. CBM’s delegation actively contributed to sessions, which included the following topics: collective action in the face of COVID-19, addressing mental health burden of NTDs, applying gender equality & inclusion in NTD interventions, strengthening research to beat NTDs, approaches to empowering local NTD teams, inclusion and human rights of people affected by NTDs, creating resilient NTD programs in conflict and humanitarian emergencies, applying innovative thinking and designing innovative projects to accelerate progress against NTDs and so on.

On the last day the NNN members adopted an “NNN statement of commitment to the participation of people affected by NTDs” developed with active participation from CBM’s NTD team.

Guide for Mental Health and NTDs

On 7th October, the World Health Organization launches the guide ‘Mental health and neglected tropical diseases: towards a person-centred approach’. CBM is proud to have been part of a partnership calling for better attention to be paid to mental wellbeing for people affected by NTDs.

CBM NTD Report 2020

In the past year, thanks to our partners and donors, CBM reached about 57 million people in 9 countries who were affected by NTDs and received treatment or underwent eye surgeries. An additional 31 million were treated through Mass Drug Administration (MDA). 

Download the report here

Children as engines of sustainable change

15-year-old Misganaw is part of an anti-trachoma club at his school in Ethiopia, where he spreads awareness about simple ways to prevent trachoma.

He says - I didn't know about trachoma until last year, I was surprised, it is a simple disease prevented by hygienic practices and yet so many people here have it. I have told my family about hand washing and now they also improved their personal hygiene. I have a responsibility to my community. I am more aware of eye problems. So if I see someone with eye problems, I will inform my teacher and also tell them to go to the health post.

Read an example of how CBM supports student initiatives to prevent blindness in Ethiopia.

This photo shows a boy washing his face at a water tank.

15-year-old Misganaw is part of a CBM-supported anti-trachoma club at Double Mariam Primary School in the Amhara Region, Ethiopia. In these anti-trachoma clubs, students learn the importance of hygiene and its role in eliminating trachoma.

© CBM/ Hayduk

Hope in Sight - Shalom’s life-changing journey

Five-year-old Shalom from Uganda had bilateral cataracts. She used to be a lonely girl unable to play with her friends or go to school, but thanks to a programme funded by CBM, she was able to get the medical attention she needed to help improve her eyesight and feel like a fully included member of her community again. This is the story of her life-changing journey.

This photo shows a Ugandan woman wearing a headband holding her young daughter in her arms. Her daughter is wearing spectacles and has her arms around her mother.

Shalom and her mother after returning from school at Little Bears Kindergarten. Shalom, 5 years, had bilateral cataracts and received eye surgery and eye glasses from Mengo Eye Hospital, a CBM partner in Uganda. ​

​©CBM