Elimination & Prevention
Combat Blindness International: Elimination Preventable Blindness Since 1984
We work to treat and prevent avoidable blindness and visual impairment. See the steps we take to transform people’s lives and solve the immediate problem of blindness.
Each cataract surgery provides another opportunity for a person to return to work. This allows an individual to both provide for their family and contribute to their community’s economy.
Blindness affects not only the individual, but their families and communities. Children are often taken out of school to care for blind relatives, while neighbors bear responsibility for their wellbeing.
A cataract surgery is considered one of the most cost-effective medical interventions of all time. A 20-minute procedure that costs a little as $25 will restore sight to the blind within 24 hours.
Many low-income countries struggle to perform cataract surgeries at a high enough rate to outpace new cases, causing a build of patients waiting for surgery. Providing cataract surgeries reduces this strain on in-country facilities.
Running screening programs is one of the best ways to reach people. It not only helps those affected by vision problems, but builds a trusting relationship with the community and populations being screened.
If we don’t know there is a problem, we can’t help. Screenings allow us to locate, identify and assist those who are suffering from blindness or visual impairments.
ACCESS TO CARE
People are often unable to receive care due geography, population density, or other factors that hinder screening. Expanding screenings programs allows more people to have access to care that they may not have otherwise.
In rural areas of many countries, people are often unaware that treatments for their blindness exist. By reaching more people, we will see a correlating increase in awareness for preventable blindness.
By treating a child’s visual impairment with eyeglasses, surgery, or other methods, they can receive 60 years or more of sight and opportunity. The earlier we treat, the longer they can live with their sight.
80% of what a child learns is done visually. Without screenings and treatment for visual impairment, children do not have access to equal education and opportunities with either classmates.
Our pediatric program focuses on refractive errors. Screening for refractive errors and providing glasses increases educational potential and reduces preventable visual impairment and blindness.
School screenings increase community awareness to eye health. It helps show that treatment is available, and reduces the stigma that can be associated with vision problems.
Providing Medical Supplies
Sometimes all an area needs to treat avoidable blindness is the consumable supplies for the treatment. The doctors and facilities are ready, but they lack the intraocular lenses, sutures, and medicine needed to treat the patients. CBI supplies these to partners to assist in providing free treatment.
In 1992, CBI helped provide seed funding to Aurolab, the manufacturing division of the highly-respected Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. Aurolab began producing intraocular lenses and provided those lenses to us at a cost of roughly $2. With these low-cost lenses, CBI’s medical partners could provide the same surgeries to their poorest patients that were previously only possible on those who could pay.