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2021 Year in Review

news | Jan 25, 2022

Thank you to all of our supporters, friends and partners who made 2021 a successful year in global eye care. With your support, HCP Cure Blindness and our partners completed nearly 30,000 surgeries. We offered more than 300 training opportunities to medical personnel to provide quality eye care in their countries. And we procured thousands of needed medical items for new and growing eye care centers. We are so grateful to you and all our friends for making these achievements possible.

The following are just a few of the highlights of 2021 thanks to your commitment to our mission to eradicate global blindness.

One of the earliest highlights of the year came when HCP Cure Blindness co-founders Drs. Geoff Tabin and Sanduk Ruit received the ASCRS Foundation Chang-Crandall Humanitarian Award. The award honors and recognizes outstanding humanitarian work with a focus on cataract blindness and disability.

While the pandemic interrupted many of HCP Cure Blindness and its partners’ plans for 2020, the development of the vaccine allowed efforts to resume again in 2021. This included outreach events to take place in South Sudan, resulting in more than 700 sight-restoring surgeries performed. We also supported the second-ever pediatric outreach in Bhutan that cared for more than 1,000 children. World Sight Day was celebrated in Ghana and, for the first time since the pandemic started, doctors traveled to Ethiopia.

Construction of the Specialty Eye Center in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia started early last year - an exciting development for expanding eye care in the Amhara region which has more than 30,000 new cataract cases yearly. The Eye Center will serve as a hub for training in sub-Saharan Africa and continue HCP Cure Blindness’ commitment to treat individuals regardless of their ability to pay.

HCP Cure Blindness is often asked how it can provide sight-restoring surgery for such a low cost when the cost of comparative surgery is so expensive in the United States. In 2021, Dr. Tabin and HCP Cure Blindness board members Matt Olivia and Jeff Goldberg discussed how cost savings may be achieved in the Unites States by adopting the delivery practices used in India and Nepal in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Another highlight from the year included HCP Cure Blindness showcased as an example in The Chronicle for Philanthropy; the piece mentioned HCP Cure Blindness’ efforts to develop a global data standard for cataract surgeries.

Of course, the greatest achievement of 2021 was restoring sight to so many in need.

An outreach event in Khunde, Nepal truly put into practice our commitment to care for those in need, no matter how remote.

The outreach required the team led by the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology’s CEO, Dr. Reeta Gurung, to travel by foot for four days across mountains, glacial streams and waterfalls with pack animals carrying supplies and equipment. Due to its remote, mountainous location, access to eye care for the people of the Khumbu region is extremely limited.

The team assessed 900 people, provided glasses and medication, and performed cataract surgery on 27 patients including Tshering Sherpa, a 74-year-old man blind from cataracts and unable to walk or feed himself. Tshering’s son, Karma, carried him on his back to the Khunde screening and surgical outreach. When Tshering could see again, he was overjoyed to see his son’s face and Karma was happy his father could see the world again.

The impact you have by supporting HCP Cure Blindness is undeniable. Thank you for helping more than 30,000 people see the world again in 2021.

In 2022, we will continue our commitment to treat those in need and strive to eradicate cataract blindness. Thank you for your support!

 

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