The CBM Inclusive Eye Health Annual Report 2023 highlights CBM's innovative approaches such as the use of Peek Vision technology in Pakistan and Kenya to reach underserved communities and the training of local health workers to expand sustainable eye health services.
World Sight Day, celebrated on 12. October is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the need for quality eye care for everyone, everywhere. Almost everyone on the planet will be affected by an eye problem in their lifetime. Despite advances in healthcare, more than one billion people worldwide do not have access to the services they need to see clearly. That's why CBM’s Eye Health Initiative works every day to improve this staggering statistic. This year, we are supporting 121 projects in 29 countries.
A Global Challenge for Eye Care
This year’s World Sight Day theme ‘Love Your Eyes' is not just a call for self-care, but a universal call to prioritise eye health. As part of this campaign, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the umbrella organisation for its nearly 200 members, has set a global challenge: Achieve 10 million eye screenings in the 100 days leading up to World Sight Day.
CBM has pledged 1.4 million screenings as its contribution to this challenge.
Love Your Eyes in the Workplace
Focusing on the importance of eye care in the workplace, this year’s "Love Your Eyes" campaign also calls on employers to prioritise eye health. The aim is to encourage employers to adopt standard practises and promote eye health habits that will benefit the well-being, safety, and productivity of millions of workers. This, in turn, prevents workplace accidents due to low vision and increases productivity.
A CBM-supported pilot project in Matiari, Pakistan, illustrates this in practice, showing how eye care in the workplace can make the difference between life and death.
Muhammad, a truck driver from Punjab, had his eyes examined using the Peek technology supported by CBM. He was diagnosed with astigmatism. He received corrective glasses and safety tips to help him drive more safely and improve his quality of life.
Plans are underway to extend the eye screening programme to other long-haul drivers and co-drivers. The aim is to collect data on eye health in this community and improve access to treatments such as cataract surgery.
“Workplace eye screening can make a critical difference. This project has the potential to make a real impact, both for the individuals concerned and for road safety in the district,” says Dr Zahid Hussain Awan – CBM Inclusive Eye Health Project Manager, Pakistan.
A Joint Effort for Lasting Change
On World Sight Day, CBM offices around the world host events to highlight our impact. Our Inclusive Eye Health Initiative publishes an annual report showing how we are making eye care accessible to all.
The annual report features key projects, like our work in Cameroon targeting childhood blindness, and our tech-based partnership with Peek Vision in Pakistan. Our year-long project in Kenya, covering several counties, has significantly improved access to affordable eye care. In all projects, we focus on integrating eye care into existing healthcare systems to promote local ownership.
Dr Babar Qureshi, Director of CBM’s Inclusive Eye Care initiative, underlines this point: “We have intentionally ensured that our interventions support long-term sustainability by strengthening the existing health systems. Secondly, our approach is collaborative – we work with multiple partners, health facilities, local and national governments, and other non-governmental organisations to leverage each other’s strengths to increase our reach and ensure that our interventions have the maximum impact. Third, we focus on making local facilities better equipped and resourced so that everyone can get eye care closer to where they live and work.”