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Published: 11.08.2021
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IAPB is delighted to announce the launch of our Eye Health Heroes programme – an annual development programme to celebrate and nurture young and upcoming talent in the eye health sector. The goal of the programme is to provide a unique sector-wide opportunity to connect, develop and celebrate Eye Health Heroes from across the NGO, corporate, clinical, and public policy, global eye health community.

To mark the launch of this year’s awards Eye Health Heroes from the 2020 programme joined our President Caroline Casey and CEO Peter Holland to tell them about their experiences of being an Eye Health Hero and the work that they have been doing over the past year.

The programme is open to those who are under age 35 and is made up of three categories where individuals and organisations will be able to nominate one or more Heroes: Leaders, Change makers and Innovators.

Winners will be recognised at a ceremony in November 2021 as well as receiving media and communications training and the opportunity to learn from leaders from a range of backgrounds.

Caroline Casey, President of IAPB said “We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Eye Health Heroes programme is now open. We encourage you to nominate your hero; whether someone is a changemaker, an innovator or a future leader. We are looking for passionate people with a commitment to eye health who we want to recognise and help tell their story.”

Peter Holland, Chief Executive Officer of the IAPB said Eye Health Heroes are young people who consistently demonstrate their passion, purpose, and determination to help improve peoples’ lives all around the world. Eye Health Heroes come from a wide range of different backgrounds and professions across every region of the world, all committed to making change. We are calling on individuals and organisations from around the world to nominate people they know who are their Eye Health Heroes.”

Eye Health Heroes awards is funded this year by Allergan, an AbbVie company. Commenting on the launch of this year’s awards Andrew Stewart, General Manager, Eye Care, AbbVie said “The Eye Health Heroes awards is such an important initiative as it aims to recognize success, develop leadership capacity, build networks of influence and understanding of global eye health advocacy as a powerful tool for change. We are honoured to once again be working alongside IAPB to celebrate the achievements in the eye health community and foster up and coming talent. With the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic we know there are so many people out there going above and beyond to deliver eye health services and we look forward to celebrating these heroes later this year.” 

2020 Eye Health Hero winner Grace Chew, from Singapore said “I have been honoured to be an Eye Health Hero and have really enjoyed the programme. It is so important for more people to know the importance of eye health to our lives and the economy. I hope that by talking about our work as Eye Health Heroes more people around the world will know about eye health.”

Patrick Ndongmo, from Cameroon who was also a 2020 hero said “Being an eye health hero has given me the opportunity to meet with people from very different backgrounds. By meeting others, you start to understand more about important eye health issues around the world.”

Junu Shrestha, Optometrist from Nepal said “Being an Eye Health Hero in 2020 was a real privilege. It’s been a great learning platform for me, especially having the opportunity meet and learn from people like Ambassador Webson, the UN Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda. I’d really encourage people to nominate their 2021 Eye Health Heroes.”