Orbis reports 'significant growth'

Orbis provides over six million sight-saving treatments in 2014

Orbis reports significant growth
Eye care charity Orbis has undergone a period of significant growth, which saw the organisation enable 6.1 million optical and medical treatments during 2014, its annual report has revealed.  

Publishing their results last month, the UK office stated it had received £5.7m in funding during the year; exceeding £5m for the first time and allowing it to fund 18 long-term projects around the world.
The charity has become part of a consortium responsible for delivering a £39m trachoma programme in five countries across Africa. The consortium’s wider aim is to eliminate trachoma within those five countries by 2020, with Orbis UK’s focus on eradicating the disease in Ethiopia, where an estimated 75 million people are at risk. 

Trachoma is the biggest cause of infectious blindness worldwide, with around 232 million people at risk. In cases of repeated infection, trichiasis can develop which is particularly painful. It turns the eyelids inwards, causing the lashes to scrape the eyeball and often leads to permanent blindness. 

Orbis was the first organisation to introduce the World Health Organization’s ‘SAFE’ (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental change) strategy in the country, and will use its 15 years of experience in Ethiopia to be the coordinating and implementing partner of the consortium’s work in the country.

With the delivery of primary eye care within communities in Africa being fundamental to Orbis’s aims and objectives as a charity, in 2014 it supported the administration of a total of 4,832,119 doses of antibiotics in Ethiopia and over 30,000 surgeries across the continent.

Orbis UK is committed to improving eye health services across Africa and in November will be launching an appeal to raise funds to further expand its work in Zambia.