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Commonwealth Leaders urged to prioritise school sight screenings

Additional signatures are updated at the bottom of the page.

The Vision for the Commonwealth

The following letter has been sent to heads of government of the 54 countries that are members of the Commonwealth. If you would like to add your name to the letter please fill out the form below.

Commonwealth Heads of Government 20th June 2022

Commonwealth Health Ministers
Commonwealth Education Ministers
UK based Commonwealth High Commissioners
Baroness Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth Secretary General

Dear Commonwealth Leader,

We would like to pay tribute to the leadership of the Commonwealth in promoting eye health in the Commonwealth and around the world. In 2018 Commonwealth Leaders made a landmark commitment to ‘Quality Eye Care for All’ and in that time many countries around the Commonwealth have made progress, including Ghana and The Gambia which have eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.

Eliminating blinding trachoma across the Commonwealth would be a remarkable legacy However, the job on eliminating this debilitating neglected tropical disease is not complete, and we need to continue this fight. Eye health has long been a neglected public health issue, and with evidence to suggest that by 2050 half the world’s population will have myopia we are on the verge of a global crisis, especially among our young people. This growing crisis impacts all areas of our lives, from children in schools to those in work and our elderly population.

School eye health is of the utmost importance. A study of almost 1 million children across 30 low-income and middle-income countries found that children with vision impairment were 2 to 5 times less likely to be included in formal education.[1] Access to glasses or other forms of vision correction is also a huge challenge for many children. School eye health programs are a unique and highly cost-effective opportunity to provide comprehensive eye health services to potentially more than 700 million children throughout the world. The World Bank recommends prioritising the implementation of school eye health programs to ensure inclusive education systems and improve educational outcomes. Therefore, the Vision for the Commonwealth Coalition is calling on you, and other Commonwealth Heads of Government, to commit to universal access to sight screenings and affordable vision treatments when you meet in Kigali this week.

Countries including Rwanda, Pakistan, Tanzania, New Zealand, Botswana, Samoa, and the United Kingdom all have school eye health programmes. In order to avoid an impending eye health epidemic, Commonwealth leaders now need to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth has access to a sight screening and affordable treatment, so as many children as possible can see clearly.

Yours sincerely,

The Vision for the Commonwealth coalitionThe Vision for the Commonwealth coalition

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Additional Signatures

Name Job Title Name of Organisation
Mansur Rabiu Consultant Noor Dubai
Prof Nasiru Muhammad Ophthalmologist Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto
Kasini Benoît Ophthalmologist Alfajiri Medical Center
Dr Theophilus Songo Executive director Reaching Unreached Refugees and Peace Initiative-Rurpi
M.Veerasamy Ophthalmic Assistant Department of Public Health
Courtenay Holden IAPB
Thomas Mbezi Optometrist Dr agarwal eye hospital
Raúl Alberto Sousa President Associação de Profissionais Licenciados de Optometria
Christine Gillan Grants Coordinator Fred Hollows Foundation
Zill-i-Ehsan Director of Programs Berkeley Vision CURE
Sumon Francis Gomes Senior Manager, Communications and Advocacy Bangladesh Rohingya Crisis Response, World Vision Bangladesh
Stuart Cockerill Head of Commercial Operations CooperVision Specialty EyeCare
Isa Iya Abdulkadir Independent Consultant (Public Eye Health Programme Management) Freelancer
Shrikant Ayyangar Lead – Communications Mission for Vision, India
Saloni Nagpaul Communications and Campaigns Officer IAPB
Dr Rajesh Garg Consultant Ophthalmologist Garg Eye Hospital
Charles Koduah Eye Health Lead Vision Aid Overseas
NATASHA LEE Communications Manager Orbis UK
David Campbell-Hemming Locality Manager NHS
Adnan Khan Professor Khyber Medical University
Baba Alpha djeita Ophtalmologiste Centre de santé de référence de goundam
Ogechi Cecilia Chukwu Dr St Cecilia Eye Clinic
Robert Mark Senior Project Manager Vodafone
Helen Whitaker Optician Secure Vision
Reshma Dabideen Director BHF
Ella Gudwin CEO VisionSpring
Ashashashi Bishwas Student JAMC
Mmephony Peter Ngaji Senior Registrar University of Calabar Teaching Hospital
Dr Swati Tomar Founder and Chairperson SwaNetra Eye Hospital, Jaipur, India
Callistus Mmaduakolam Optometrist Callina International
Shelley Burne-Field Mother and Writer Whānau
Mamiko Fenella Sy Optometrist QCPH Vision Rehab And Development Center
Ibrahim Wambai Usman Public Ophthalmic Nurse National Eye Centre Kaduna Nigeria
Pirindhavellie Govender Poonsamy Executive Director Global Ophthalmic Institute
Dr. Chimozi Tembo Ophthalmologist University Teaching Hospitals, Eye Hospital
Fatima Kyari Ophthalmologist University of Abuja
Dupe Ademola-Popoola Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital
Rilwan Medical.practirioner University if Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada Abuja
Danjuma Attalawo Maji Ophthalmologist Federal Medical Center Azare
Jagun Omodele Ophthalmologist Publ8c
Ugochukwu Eze Ophthalmologist FMC Asaba
Kehinde Oladigbolu Consultant Ophthalmologist Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Shika-Zaria
Mary Ugalahi Paediatric Ophthalmologist College of Medicine, University of Ibadan
Ibitola Enesi Doctor Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja
Panshak Tenmang Ophthalmologist Jos University Teaching Hospital
Adaramola Simisola Ophthalmologist Daystar spec eye clinic
Dr Komolafe Oyeronke Oluwakemi Consultant ophthalmologist ECWA EYE HOSPITAL, KANO
Gandi Nathan Ophthalmologist State specialist hospital Gombe, Nigeria
Ajite Kayode Olumide Professor Ekiti State University
Amina Hassan Ophthalmologist National Eye Center
SHAHIR UMAR BELLO Ophthalmologist Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital Bauchi
Shamsudeen Idris Registrar National eye center Kaduna
Dawodu Oseluese Anastasia Professor of Ophthalmology University of Benin Teaching Hospital
Rita Momoh Ophthalmologist University of Benin Teaching Hospital
Funmilayo Oyediji Ophthalmologist ATBUTH Bauchi
Fidelis Anyika Consultant Ophthalmologist Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State
Emem Godwin Abraham Ophthalmologist University of Uyo teaching hospital
Abdullahi Salihu Hawwa Medical doctor ABUTH ZARIA
Sola Ophthalmologist Bowen University
Mohammed Mahdi Abdull Ophthalmologist Ophthalmology Department ATBU Teaching Hospital Bauchi Nigeria
Taiwo Olatundun Oyeleye Ophthalmologist Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria.
FANNA SHUWA Doctor National Eye center kaduna
Tokunbo Obajolowo Ophthalmologist University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
Onyebuchi David Ukwu Dr UNTH, Enugu
Maryam I. Babba Danagundi Dr Aminu kano teaching hospital
Professor Folasade Akinsola Dean Faculty of Clinical Sciences University of Lagos Government
Faith Ejegi Medical Practice Delta State Hospitals Management Board, Central Hospital WarrI
Onoriode Christiana UMOLO Consultant Ophthalmologist Radiant Eye Specialist Clinic
Nnenma Udeh Director Ahuike Health Foundation
Dr. U.C.Okoyeuzu Medical Director First Dental Consultants Enugu
Ogugua Okonkwo Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon Eye Foundation Hospital
Abdulqadir Ibrahim Ophthalmologist UDUTH Sokoto
Rosita Akasike-Enuh Medical doctor University of Abuja Teaching Hospital
Michaeline Asuquo Isawumi Lecturer and Consultant Ophthalmologist Osun State University
Selben Penzin Ophthalmologist Sightsavers
Nanaishat Momoh Consultant ophthalmologist Irrua Specialist teaching hospital, Irrua,Edo state
Femi Ibrahim Ophthalmologist Afe Babalola university, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD)
Anibe Ata Ophthalmologist Tulsi Chanrai Foundation Eye Hospital, Abuja
Yoloye Mosekunola Consultant Ophthalmologist MEDIVISION EYE CENTRE
Shuaib Abdulsalam Ophthalmologist Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital
Tarela Sarimiye Consultant Ophthalmologist University College Hospital Ibadan
Adedayo ADIO Pediatric Ophthalmologist Eye Clinic UPTH
Eunice Chijioke Ophthalmology Resident University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada
Sadiat Eletu Consultant OSN, WON
Dr Gloria Patrick- Ferife Ophthalmilogist Ministry of Health. Delta state
Ozuligbo Chidiebere Frances Student & Volunteer Ahuike Health Foundation
Olugbemisola Sijuwola Ophthalmologist Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta
Eboh MaryScholar Ophthalmologist Maviscope Hospital Benin city
Patricia Delsat Wade Paediatric ophthalmologist Jos university teaching hospital
Kansusi Muhammad Ibrahim Resident Doctor National Eye Center Kaduna, Nigeria
Nkosi Linus Agwadu Ophthalmology Resident University Of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada, Abuja
Regina Morgan Ophthalmologist Ophthalmological society of Nigeria
CAROLINE O ADEOTI Prof Uniosun teaching hospital
Olufunmilola Ogun Ophthalmologist University College Hospital Ibadan Nigeria
Hafsat Isa Trainee Ophthalmologist. National eye centre kaduna.
Luqman sanda Medical doctor NMA
Amadi Obiora Ophthalmologist in training Osn
Dr. Mashor Abimbola Ophthalmologist in training Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria
Dr. Chima Emmanuel Edoga Senior Registrar ESUT TEACHING HOSPITAL PARKLANE ENUGU
Cecilia Ojabo Professor Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.
Mustapha Bature Ophthalmologist Uduths
Bolutife Olusanya Ophthalmologist University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Taiwo Oluyemi Ophthalmologist Orileagege General Hospital
Charles Bekibele Consultant Ophthalmologist University College Hospital Ibadan
Halima Alimi Consultant Ophthalmologist RESTORE FOUNDATION FOR CHILD SIGHT
Valentina Okeigbemen Ophthalmologist University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City
Yetunde Owa Ophthalmologist Federal medical centre Lokoja
Aisha sheriff kalambe Ophthalmologist Asokoro district hospital
Odi Abimbola Consultant Ophthalmologist Federal medical centre lokoja
Chidi Ihemedu Ophthalmologist Lily Hospitals Limited
Musa Balat Consultant Ophthalmologist DIA Hospital Abuja
Olubunmi Temitope Bodunde Ophthalmologist Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital
Asimau E.I Zubairu Doctor Ophthalmological society of Nigeria
Kafayat Bolaji Ophthalmology Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital
Oluyinka Olawoye Ophthalmologist University of Ibadan