There are 12.7 million people in the world needlessly suffering from corneal blindness, which is the scarring of the cornea caused by injury or disease. In many cases, corneal blindness is preventable or treatable, and our goal is to rid the world of the condition altogether so that millions of lives can be restored.
In March 2023, HCP Cureblindness and SightLife International joined forces as one organization to make a greater global impact in eye care – allowing more people the joy and possibilities that sight affords. Together, our respective expertise will have a substantial and long-term impact on the world’s most underserved communities. Building on our shared commitment to training, while also combining HCP Cureblindness’ deep expertise in specialized care delivery and infrastructure development with SightLife International’s expertise in primary care and policy and advocacy, we will ensure millions of men, women, and children across Asia and Africa have access to the eye care they need to thrive.
SightLife International takes a health systems strengthening approach to address the inequities that contribute to and perpetuate corneal blindness, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
We strive to co-create strong, supportive systems led by local, regional, and country partners who are equipped with the expertise, capacity and infrastructure they need to save and restore sight.
Together, we can restore sight for the 12.7 million people globally living with corneal blindness and prevent the progression to blindness in millions more.
SightLife International focuses on four focus areas that work across a Continuum of Care in low- and middle-income countries – where a staggering 98% of those living with corneal blindness reside.
Creating a policy environment that enables eye donation, ensures quality corneal tissue and increases access to care is critical to reducing the burden of corneal blindness. The Advocacy and Policy program provides guidance on effective laws, policies and regulations in countries where the need is greatest.
Our Goal: More donated corneas available for sight-restoring surgeries and increased access to eye care.
Our Impact: We have successfully introduced and earned support for 12 national & sub-national policy changes in four countries since 2016.
We focus on building capacity and training opportunities for eye banks to ensure scalability, sustainability and quality. By expanding eye banking to underserved areas, surgeons and their patients will have greater access to quality corneas.
Our Goal: More high-quality transplantable corneas are available for surgeons to perform sight-restoring corneal transplants.
Our Impact: Since 2009, we have trained more than 1,100 eye bank leaders and technicians. In turn, these eye banks have significantly increased the number of corneas provided for transplant – leading to more than 200,000 sight-restoring transplants.
We equip local community health workers to rapidly treat corneal abrasions before blindness sets in. By meeting patients where they are, our prevention work helps communities bridge critical gaps in the primary health care system and could help save the sight of the nearly 1.5 million people who experience eye trauma each year.
Our Goal: Expand capacities at the community level because early intervention and treatment is cost-effective and more accessible to rural communities.
Our Impact: Approximately 96% of corneal abrasions are successfully treated before blindness sets in, preventing the need for a transplant. Since 2017, more than 38,000 individuals have been treated for corneal abrasions in Nepal and India.
We believe every patient should have access to quality eye care. The Clinical Training program builds capacity by offering training opportunities for corneal surgeons and ophthalmic personnel to effectively treat patients suffering from corneal blindness.
Our Goal: By training more eye care providers, we can increase the quantity and quality of sight-restoring surgeries for patients.
Our Impact: Since 2013, more than 5,000 clinicians have been trained to increase their competencies to treat patients experiencing corneal blindness.
Launched in 2009, SightLife International takes a health systems approach to addressing the inequities that contribute to and perpetuate corneal blindness worldwide. With committed partners, SightLife International has been instrumental in restoring sight and preventing blindness for more than 225,000 individuals around the world and providing clinical training for more than 7,000 health care providers.