Qatar Creating Vision is a brand new initiative, supported by the Qatar Development Fund, which will provide 5.5 million eye screenings and treatments to children in India and Bangladesh over the next four years.
The two countries are home to approximately 473,000 blind children, with more children struggling with blindness in India, than in any other country. Obtaining treatment can very expensive or may be too far away to reach. Shockingly, 60% of blind children will die during their childhood.
Promisingly, there is much that can be done – 50% of childhood blindness is preventable or treatable which means that hundreds of thousands of children are suffering unnecessarily. Providing access to eye health services is vital; without early intervention many children are forced to give up their education, which can lead to isolation and a life time of poverty.
The important work undertaken by this initiative will ensure that those whose futures are disrupted and uncertain, are provided with the support they need – unlocking a brighter future, not constricted by a preventable health condition.
Young boy with a clouded irisWe are a founding partner of Qatar Creating Vision alongside Sightsavers and BRAC with a plan to expand the services of 11 paediatric eye centres in India and eight in Bangladesh. Collectively we will also work in schools to screen children and provide glasses to those who cannot see the blackboard, as well as educate communities about the signs of blindness and how to respond should they experience symptoms. Orbis will also establish a specialist centre to tackle Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), an eye condition which affects premature babies, in Bangladesh.