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The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust joins IAPB

Published: 22.01.2014

he International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is delighted to welcome The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (the Trust) as its newest member.

Four out of five visually impaired people are avoidably so. The Trust, established in 2012, is poised to play a major role in the elimination of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Over the next five years, the Trust will focus its work on the elimination of blinding trachoma, as well as tackling retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and diabetic retinopathy across Commonwealth countries.

As an IAPB member and with a seat on its Board, the Trust will be working closely with all key stakeholders in the eye health sector. The 194 member countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recently adopted a five-year Global Action Plan for universal eye health, which builds on VISION 2020 – the global initiative set up in 1999 for the elimination of avoidable blindness. As a member of IAPB, the Trust will be helping to advocate for the Action Plan’s successful implementation and to ensure that all citizens in Commonwealth countries can access good quality and affordable eye health services, regardless of their background or circumstances..

For more than a year now, IAPB has been working closely with the Trust to explore key, emerging issues around avoidable blindness and building new collaborations and partnerships.

Speaking about the Trust’s membership, Joanna Conlon, IAPB’s Director of Development said, “The Trust embodies the goodwill and support of citizens and countries from across the Commonwealth. Its resolve to make a decisive contribution to the elimination of avoidable blindness also received the support of Commonwealth Heads of Government at their recent meeting. It is a crucial time for the eye health sector as stakeholders and governments increase work to tackle issues of quality and access to treatment. The IAPB believes that the Trust’s input will add a fresh impetus to the Global Action Plan and to the sector in general.”

Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of the Trust said, “The Trust – created to honour Her Majesty The Queen’s remarkable sixty-year contribution to the Commonwealth – is working to galvanise efforts in the fight to eliminate avoidable blindness. Our aim is that millions of people within the Commonwealth will not only keep their sight or have it restored, but that they will also have increased prosperity and a better quality of life. The IAPB is leading international efforts to prevent avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth and around the world and we are delighted to have become a member to support its vital work.”

IAPB works for the elimination of avoidable blindness and towards ensuring that those with irreversible sight loss live life to their full potential. Along with the Trust, The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) leads an alliance of 120 member organisations including virtually every major international eye health NGO, global apex bodies for both ophthalmology and optometry, disabled persons’ organisations, academic institutions and concerned corporations, all working together to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment worldwide. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) leads an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies in promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.