2018 – Members share their highlights

Membership & Fundraising Officer
Organisation: IAPB

2018 has been a fantastic year for the IAPB alliance. We finish 2018 with over 150 members and a couple of new members are set to join us early 2019. As this year comes to a close, we wanted to share with you some of the highlights from across the alliance; we asked a cross section of members from across the globe what their key achievements, memories and successes were; from starting programmes in new countries, to success in eliminating NTDs — IAPB members have had a jam-packed year.

Thank you to our members for your continued support throughout 2018. Some of our highlights include the Council of Members, which was a great success and has set the tone for the General Assembly in 2020. The commitment from members to participate and engage with IAPB’s Learn webinars that has shown the strength of our ability to connect and learn as a community and finally we end the year with a new Secretariat Plan which will strengthen the network and ensure the future of our ever-growing alliance.

We have more exciting opportunities on offer in 2019 and we are looking forward to sharing these with you very soon.

To read their highlights simply scroll using the dots above each entry. Enjoy!

Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation

Optometry School in Haiti13/04/2018: Haiti’s first optometry school launch

24/05/2018: PNG First national survey on eye health

16/06/2018: Day of the African Child – “Children are the future, it sounds cliché, but I do not know a greater truth.” – Petronella Nicholls, Africa Regional Director

01/07/2018: Social impact framework model from Pakistan – “In Pakistan, our programmes are playing an instrumental role in increasing eye health coverage across the country. A social impact framework modelled on Pakistan is now being integrated across our global programmes.” – Sumrana Yasmin, Regional Director, South East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean

03/09/2018: Our Children’s Vision partners meeting in Kathmandu – “In 2018, through the hard work of our 79 partner organisations in 55 countries, the half-way milestone for this ambitious project was met and passed ahead of schedule.” – Courtenay Holden, Campaign Marketing and Communications Manager, Our Children’s Vision

13/09/2018: IAPB Council of Members 2018 – “Events such as the Council of Members, being held in regularity, are critical opportunities for the diverse membership community to exchange ideas, strengthen resolve and update critical thinking to further progress the bigger goals being tabled. It is for all these reasons that we feel as an organisation that IAPB is a valuable investment for us to continue to support new, and strengthen existing, collaborations” – Amanda Davis, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation

15/09/2018: 20-year celebration of LV Prasad Eye Institute rural eye care programmes in India – “It was quite staggering to see the success of the work they are doing, the number of beneficiaries reached and the sustainability of the programmes.” – Amanda Davis, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation

11/10/2018: Dr Suit May Ho IAPB Eye Health Hero 2018 – “What drives me is the level of commitment that I see in the young optometrists who provide care to patients and teach new optometry students, struggling at the same time to get the profession recognised. I am in awe of their tenacity and strength in forging the course of a new profession.” – Dr Suit May Ho, Education Program Manager

11/10/2018: 10 years anniversary celebration in Sri Lanka on World Sight Day – “We knew we had a job ahead of us, to work with local people to ensure the people of this beautiful country have access to affordable eye care. Since that time, we have been addressing the gap in access to eye care, and by assisting the Government and collaborating with local district partners and other NGO’s – I believe we are well on the way in Sri Lanka.” – The Late Professor Brien Holden, Former CEO and Founder, Brien Holden Vision Institute said before his passing in 2015

07/11/2018: Graduation of first Vietnamese-trained optometrists

12/11/2018: WHO/IAPB/BHVI meeting in Singapore

CNIB Foundation

Using guide dog2018 was a fantastic year for us with CNIB completing 100 years. Here are our highlights:

Image on Top: Guide dogs by Süle János Robert

Eye Care Foundation

Eye Care Foundation officially starts in Tanzania!

Cataract Surgery TanzaniaThis year we made big steps in the countries we work in and welcomed a new director. April 2018 marked our official start in Tanzania after years of preparation. This included activities like executing the RAAB, start of the education of an ophthalmologist and aligning strategy with the local policy makers.

Since April we have organised 6 eye camps for all age levels. This has resulted in many cataract operations. The numbers are impressive and show the need.

Regarding education one ophthalmologist graduated this year, 7 nurses have been trained in basic ophthalmology and 2 optometrists are in training.

Fondation L’OCCITANE

Getting Vitamin A doseIn 2018, L’OCCITANE en Provence and its Foundation continued to pursue their commitment to fight avoidable blindness in the world. The programme UNION FOR VISION 10by20 is still running with the goal of reaching 10 million beneficiaries by 2020. We are very proud to share that we have been able to provide eye care to 8 million people since 2000, thanks to international and local partnerships with NGOs worldwide, such as UNICEF, Light for the World, Helen Keller International, Sightsavers, Orbis, etc.

Image on Top: A child gets a Vitamin A dose by Matt Dayka

Fundación Visión

Alexander Páez with Victoria Sheffield at the CoM

Experiencia de participación en el Congreso del Concilio de IAPB

Participar del Congreso del Concilio de la IAPB fue una experiencia de enorme valor, ya que compartimos nuestra realidad diaria y la que pudimos comparar con la realidad de otros en distintas y diferentes naciones y encontramos que la pobreza y la burocracia política siguen siendo los principales enemigos de todos los que luchamos por prevenir la ceguera.

Nos quedó claro que el principal valor es el trabajo articulado y mancomunado de distintas organizaciones, donde podemos aprender de los aciertos y errores  en particular y brindarnos apoyo mutuo en favor de quien más lo necesita.

Volvimos profundamente desafiados que este es el momento de unirnos en un esfuerzo global por erradicar la ceguera del mundo

Participating in the IAPB Council was a valuable experience for us; meeting people from the eye health sector and exchanging notes on our daily reality and experience in delivering care, and comparing it with what others face in different nations. We found that poverty and political bureaucracy still remain the main enemies of all those who fight to prevent blindness.

For us, to make a difference, it is important that we come together which IAPB Council allows us — where we can learn from the successes and mistakes of each other and provide support to those who need it most.

We came back deeply challenged and committed to our cause of eradicating avoidable blindness.

Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh

Checking for TT in NepalThe elimination of trachoma earlier this year was a historic milestone for Nepal and for us at Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh (who have been working towards this since 1981 after the Nepal Blindness Survey).

Prof. Dr. Tirtha Prasad Mishra, Chairman of NNJS and Board of Trustees of IAPB says “Strong leadership, careful planning and implementation of WHO’s SAFE strategy and passionate workforce lead to the trachoma elimination.”

Sailesh Kumar Mishra, Executive Director of NNJS and Chairman of IAPB Nepal says “Elimination of trachoma is the best example of community participation and public-private partnership to achieve this historical success in public health.”

Even after achieving elimination, work must continue to ensure the disease does not resurface.

Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary

Participants engage in discussion at the Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town South AfricaFor us at Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary a highlight for 2018 was IPOSC ROP Africa Symposium 2018. This was hosted in collaboration with The International Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Council in Cape Town, South Africa. As a result of this programme, the participants and the centers of excellence will have additional skills and resources to (1) identify existing human resources in nursing, neonatology, anesthesia, and ophthalmology; (2) identify potential sites for programme development based on existing human resources, infrastructure, motivated leadership; (3) initiate dialogue with appropriate ministries of health for support. The hope is to develop a community of ROP providers in Africa that will help support the needs of children at risk for this blinding condition.

Kellogg Eye Center for International Ophthalmology

Image on Top: Retinal Surgeon Phil Lieu supervises a retinal surgery with resident trainee at St Paul’s. Dr. Lieu is among an increasing number of Kellogg Eye Center faculty helping to stand up a new Ophthalmology residency programme in EthiopiaHighlights of 2018 from Kellogg:

  1. First Graduation of the 4th year residents of our ophthalmology residency training programme at St. Paul’s Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2019! We have arranged for some of the physicians on faculty there and some of the graduating residents to continue on in subspecialty fellowship programmes.
  2. Planning for start of a Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship training programme in Ghana..
  3. Our work in Kenya where we have long-term goals to foster educational and research opportunities. We want to develop training programmes; set up a low vision clinic; and conduct research to improve eye care delivery in western Kenya.
  4. A UM Medical Student travels to the island of Vanuatu in August 2018, followed by a UM Genetic Counselor in October 2018 to study eye diseases and education in the island nation.
  5. Kellogg Eye Center hosted the 12th Annual Meeting of the World Association of Eye Hospital in June 2018, its very first meeting in North America.

Image on Top: Retinal Surgeon Phil Lieu supervises a retinal surgery with resident trainee at St Paul’s. Dr. Lieu is among an increasing number of Kellogg Eye Center faculty helping to stand up a new Ophthalmology residency programme in Ethiopia

Light for the World

Her Abilities LogoThis year we launched the first ever global accolade celebrating the achievements of women with disabilities, the Her Abilities Award. We had an overwhelming response – 359 nominations from 52 countries across the world! Our impressive international jury chose three exceptional winners from Zambia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. The women are all from totally different backgrounds but have excelled in their fields, and against significant adversity. We’ll be continuing the Award next year and hope to continue to bring much-deserved recognition to the incredible work of women with disabilities around the globe.

Orbis

Disembarking from the plane/ Photo Geoff Oliver Bugbee2018 at Orbis was marked with many key events. Here are some of our highlights:

  • Our work with the Rohingya community in Bangladesh. Between February-April 2018, Orbis conducted nearly 5,000 screenings and 2,763 treatments, a treatment rate of more than 50%. We are one of the first organizations to establish services within the camps. In addition, Orbis is working with local government and NGOs to train community leaders in basic eye care, provide more eye screenings for children, and capture valuable data.
  • Orbis Volunteer Faculty used new state-of-the-art simulation technology on board the Flying Eye Hospital in Trujillo Peru for the first time this past April..
  • In October, Orbis held a Flying Eye Hospital project in Ethiopia to mark 20 years of eye health development in the country. Our Addis Ababa office was the organization’s first ever programme office.

Image on top: Disembarking from the plane/ Photo Geoff Oliver Bugbee

Severance Hospital – Project BOM

Local physicians from Project BOMMs Miyoung Woo, the Country Director of Project BOM affiliated with Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Malawi says, “For us in 2018, we are so proud of completing eye care training programme. In resource-limited conditions like Malawi, strengthening comprehensive, sustainable, and localized eye care system requires implementation of core training programme on Primary Eye Care for Health Surveillance Assistants at community level for early identification and referral of blind-causing eye diseases. Moreover, assigning supervisory personnel in existing health facilities is necessary for effective management of the referral cases.”

Image on top: Local physicians for Project Bom by Jina Shin

Sightsavers

Caroline Harper at the TED talk
It has been a remarkable year of successes for Sightsavers. Here are some of our highlights:

April: Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper delivered a TED Talk in April to pitch an ambitious plan to eliminate the blinding eye disease trachoma to some of the world’s most influential donors. Millions of dollars have now been pledged to help accelerate efforts to eliminate the disease.

May: Sightsavers’ supported the first trachoma treatments delivered in war-torn Yemen.

June: Ghana, where Sightsavers and partners run programmes in support of the Ministry of Health, is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to be verified by WHO as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.

September: Sightsavers celebrated the millionth cataract operation funded by its 2014-2017 Million Miracles campaign to raise funding to support countries in treating the world’s leading cause of avoidable blindness.

November: The charity evaluator GiveWell name Sightsavers as one of the top charities for cost effectiveness for the third year running.

Along with our consortium partners we also received funding from UKaid for two new disability inclusive development programmes which will get underway in 2019.

Sightsavers’ Director of News Alistair Burnett said: “This year has seen our work to eliminate neglected tropical diseases take a huge leap forward, all due to the hard work of our dedicated teams, partners and donors. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported our eye care work and disability inclusion campaigning in 2018.”

Image on Top: Caroline Harper at the TED Talk/ Image provided by Sightsavers

Vision 2020 Australia

This year funding was secured for KeepSight – a new diabetes blindness prevention initiative (something we and our members have been advocating for). KeepSight will go live in 2019, and is a partnership between Vision 2020 Australia, Diabetes Australia and other organisations. It is a very practical example of how Australian eye health initiatives are being embedded within broader health care.

Vision 2020 Australia members continued to progress a wide range of work to close the gap for vision for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and in 2018 also commenced some targeted work around expanding access to affordable glasses and other optical appliances for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

During 2018 the Australian Government also released the first Voluntary National Review of its progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which included a case study highlighting a local integrated eye health promotion programme managed by Vision 2020 Australia.

The Victorian Vision Initiative delivers on three of the SDG targets, including helping to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, and demonstrates the transformative nature of eye health. Importantly, its inclusion recognises the contribution that eye health and vision care initiatives make towards our shared aspirations for the future health of our population.

Image on top: A man with diabetes gets eyes checked by Hanh Pham

Vision UK

Kids learning about vision lossMatt Broom promoted to CEO in June 2018

We are forming 4 panels of experts to set strategic priorities and to set achievable outcomes around these priorities.

We continue to run collaborative committees on specific topic around eye health and Sight loss.

The Vision UK Mental Health Committee has worked collaboratively on a Cross Sector Sight Loss Counselling Accreditation Scheme.

We are were pleased to continue our work with Sage Journals on the launch of an international journal called Therapeutic Advances in Ophthalmology .

We were also directly involved with the update of the Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) in England.

We are involved in the proposed UK National Eye Health Survey (UKNEHS) which now has a governance structure, and is developing funding plans.

We ran a conference with UCL and the Wellcome collection on Dementia and sight loss with particular emphasis on posterior cortical atrophy.

We are also involved with the All Party Parliamentary group for eye health and various governmental, devolved governmental and local government consultations and projects.

Image on top: Kids learning about vision loss by Jane Clipston

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