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18 August, 2019 - 21:43 By Kate Sweeney

CBM campaign raises £1.85m to treat hundreds of thousands of visually impaired

Cambridge-based overseas disability charity CBM has raised £1.85 million for its See the Way appeal to help people with sight problems in the world’s poorest places. 

The funds raised will help people with visual problems access sight-saving surgery, glasses and support, enabling them to go to school, get around safely and support themselves and their families. 

Every day, people in the world’s poorest places become needlessly blind because of conditions that can be easily treated, like cataracts. And too often, if you live in a poor community, losing your sight also means losing the chance to go to school, live independently or earn a living.  

Business Weekly was a partner for the programme in which the UK Government provided match funding. Match funding from the UK government will be used to deliver eye health services in rural Rwanda. Public donations will support CBM’s work preventing blindness and transforming lives wherever the need is greatest.

Kirsty Smith, chief executive for CBM UK, said: “We’re so incredibly grateful to all the wonderful people around the country who have helped make this appeal such a success – through your fundraising activities, your prayers and your generous gifts.

“Just a few months ago, I met people in Rwanda who were facing a future of needless blindness because the nearest eye hospital was just too far away. But thanks to you, we’ll be able to deliver sight-saving treatment to tens of thousands of people like those I met in rural areas, helping to ensure that nobody loses their sight simply because they live in poverty.”  

International Development Minister Andrew Murrison added: “Improving access to eye health services for people living with cataracts and other sight problems in rural Rwanda not only reduces blindness and visual impairment, it helps people with sight problems to earn a living which boosts economic productivity. 

“I am delighted the UK government has matched £844,684.85 to CBM’s See the Way appeal, helping to raise a total of £1,847,343.92. CBM’s work is making a significant and lasting difference.” 

Worldwide, an incredible three out of four people who are blind don’t need to be. CBM has pledged to: help in a number of ways. It will train and equip eye health workers to deliver sight-saving services at District Hospitals, including two ophthalmologists, eight theatre nurses and eight ophthalmic clinical officers.

CBM will provide vital equipment to four district hospitals so they are better able to identify and treat conditions like glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

And it will deliver cataract outreach camps, supporting eye surgeons and other specialists from CBM partner hospital Kabgayi Eye Unit, to travel to rural areas four times a year and carry out surgeries and other specialist services for people unable to travel to the eye hospital.

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