The Observer (Kampala)

1 April 2014

Uganda: Standard Chartered to Tackle Blindness

Standard Chartered bank has partnered with SightSavers and Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) to provide free paediatric eye surgeries to children between 0 and 15 years throughout Uganda.

SightSavers and BHVI are the key implementing NGOs for the bank's Seeing is Believing Child Eye Health project. The project is the bank's global initiative to tackle avoidable blindness especially among children. The Standard Chartered group has committed to raising $100m by 2020 for the programme through fundraising and bank investment.

In 2013, the bank extended its support for eye health by committing $20m to support the work of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Trust in facilitating the elimination of avoidable blindness.

"The bank's shareholders, staff and management have a great concern for the vulnerable and remain committed to making a difference whenever we can. This is, therefore, why we are investing $1.2m in child eye care in Uganda over the next four years," said Herbert Zake, the bank's head of Corporate Affairs.

This was during a recent event at Grand Imperial hotel that saw the handover of eye surgery equipment and computers to Gulu hospital. Four million children will directly benefit from the programme over the next four years through screening, treatment, eye surgeries and eye glasses. Also, 82 eye care clinics will be enhanced and established in hospitals across the country.

According to Dr Johnson Ngorok, the SightSavers country director, implementation will be carried out by Mulago hospital, Mengo hospital, Ruharo Eye Centre in Mbarara and St Benedictine Eye hospital in Tororo.

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