Combat Blindness International goes beyond supporting free vision screenings, surgeries and glasses.
We address the root causes of rampant preventable blindness to deliver lasting solutions, through innovation, collaboration and an entrepreneurial mindset.
Investing in Aurolab
For years, the high cost of cataract surgery lenses was a major barrier in treating large numbers of people.
But that changed in 1992, when CBI partnered with two other organizations to start a new company, Aurolab, at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. Without compromising quality, Aurolab reduced the cost of these lenses from hundreds of dollars to roughly $2 each. These lenses are now provided to NGOs at cost in 120 countries.
This entrepreneurial investment in Aurolab made high-quality, equitable sight-saving surgery accessible to the most vulnerable people in the world.
Building Surgical Centers
Combat Blindness International has worked closely with partners and donors to build state-of-the-art facilities serving large populations with no access to the ophthalmic care. In 2007, we worked with Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital to open a surgical center in Rampur Maniharan, which moved to a new location, Manani, with better infrastructure in 2018.
That same year, the Bijayananda Patnaik Eye Center (pictured) in Keonjhar, India, opened its doors to serve an area encompassing 1 million people. Created in partnership with L.V. Prasad Eye Institute and the Jack DeLoss Taylor Charitable Trust, this center has transformed lives through surgeries, screenings and critical eye care.
Eliminating Botswana's Cataract Backlog
One of CBI’s biggest achievements was helping eliminate a backlog of over 6,000 cataract cases in Botswana in 2019.
It was the culmination of a three-year effort, in partnership with Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, Cambridge Health Partnerships, the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness, and Peek Vision.
This is what Combat Blindness International does best: collaborating with others to bring life-changing vision to people in need. The “Bring Sight to Botswana” initiative opened up a brand-new chapter of eye health in Botswana.
Supporting and Developing Innovative Programs
Combat Blindness International continually works to create exciting new solutions for fighting preventable blindness.
For years, CBI has provided crucial support for the Certified Ophthalmic Paramedic (COP) Program at Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital in Delhi, India, which innovatively trains young women eye health technicians, while providing them education, professional skills, financial literacy and employment.
Building on the COP Program’s success, CBI and its partners have launched the Aadya Initiative, a social entrepreneurship model to exponentially increase vision screenings for the rural poor, while empowering women via education and employment.