British Council for Prevention of Blindness
Blindness Prevention in Action
Registered Charity Number: 270941
Blindness affects over 39 million people globally with a further 124 million experiencing significant sight loss. 90% of these people live in low income countries and 80% of their blindness is treatable or preventable. Sight loss is not purely a health issue, it devestates lives as it directly affects an individual's ability to access employment, causes social isolation, family breakdown and is a significant factor in worsening poverty.
The British Council for Prevention of Blindness is a small niche charity, established in 1976, employing two part-time members of staff. We fund innovative research and training that seeds the development of local resources – skills, knowledge and expertise – to build programmes which save and restore sight in low and lower middle income countries. Our belief is that no-one, anywhere in the world, should lose their sight if this can be prevented.
We focus almost entirely on long-term interventions relevant to the poorest communities. We believe that the most effective use of resources in order to have the greatest impact is through the support of the few, who will transfer their knowledge and skills in blindness prevention through educating healthcare workers and influencing governments who are then in the position to pass on the benefits to the many - the so-called ‘cascade effect’.
- To enhance our work as a niche player in blindness prevention by funding training and medical research
- To raise our profile
- To improve income generation for further grant-making
- Somewhere in the world, a child goes blind every minute.
- 75% of this blindness is avoidable. With adequate funding it could be treated or prevented.
- 89% of the world's 36 million blind people live in poor countries.
- Interventions to prevent blindness are amongst the most cost-effective: a blind person requires care and rehabilitation and cannot usually work, so saving sight makes economic sense as well as transforming lives.
- Training one person to be a leader, trainer and advocate creates a cascade effect when they pass on their knowledge and skills to others who can go on to build eye care programmes in developing countries, to save the sight of many people and promote the development of new knowledge to help treat eye conditions.
Statistics from The World Health Organization
Our key achievements
- Making ground-breaking discoveries that have led directly to a breakthrough in the eye medication Ivermectin. This is now widely used in Africa to prevent ‘river blindness’ (onchocerciasis) – a condition that once blinded millions of people.
- Validated the use of smartphones for the diagnosis of eye diseases in Kenya (PEEK), meaning we have been able to save the sight of thousands of people in the region. PEEK technology is now being used throughout Africa and Asia where millions of people don’t live near eye health facilities or cannot access treatment.
- Supported the development of an eye healthcare training module to be delivered within the World Health Organization’s Integrated Management of Childhood Illness programme. The Tanzania Ministry of Health have now agreed that this training can be delivered to over 800 frontline child health care workers, thereby detecting eye problems early and avoiding childhood blindness.
- We have supported over 160 eye care professionals from the world’s poorest countries to train and undertake research, developing their expertise in planning and managing blindness prevention programmes, as well as leadership and advocacy skills.
- Each of these new eye care leaders will save the sight of up to 40,000 people in the course of their career, and will on average train a further 200 people to save sight.
BCPB receives no government funding and all of our work is funded through voluntary gifts including legacies.
British Council for Prevention of Blindness
4 Bloomsbury Square
Phone: 020 7404 7114
British Council for Prevention of Blindness News
Charity Choice Directory Listings
- Disabled - Visual Impairments
- Education & Training - Academies & Further Education
- Health - Disabled
- Health - Medical Research
- Medical Research - Non-Terminal Disease
- Overseas Aid - Disability
- Overseas Aid - Health
- Social Welfare - Poverty
- Visual Impairments - Eye Infections & Diseases
- Visual Impairments - Research
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