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CBM shares prestigious award

A Christian international disability and development organisation has been named joint winner of a major international award ...

The 2017 António Champalimaud Vision Awards took place recently in Lisbon, with joint winners announced for their outstanding contribution towards the prevention and alleviation of blindness and visual impairment in developing countries.

The winners are Sightsavers, an international organisation working in more than 30 countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and support people with visual impairments to live independently, and CBM, an international Christian disability and development organisation transforming the lives of people with disabilities and communities at risk in the world's poorest places.

Both CBM and Sightsavers have worked tirelessly for decades to treat the leading causes of preventable blindness and support those living with limited or no vision in some of the poorest countries in the world.

Both are recognised as pioneers in the field and were the creators of a model to combat visual impairment based around three pillars: prevention, cure and support. Sightsavers were awarded the prize with particular note to their consortium leadership of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP), completed between 2012 and 2016.

The GTMP, collaboration between 19 non-profit organisations, mapped the prevalence of trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, to ensure efficient resource allocation to eliminate this disease by 2020.

Caroline Harper, Sightsavers Chief Executive said: “It is an honour to be presented with such a prestigious award. So much of the blindness in the world is avoidable and we are delighted to receive such high praise and support of our work to help change this situation for good. It is also gratifying to know our work supporting people with visual impairment and other disabilities to live independent lives and be treated equitably is being recognised too."

CBM’s blindness and visual impairment work aims to reach those who are poorest and most excluded, working with local partners to provide comprehensive services that leave no-one behind. As well as delivering medical services such as sight-restoring cataract surgery, CBM works with communities to ensure that people living with visual impairments are valued, included and able to fulfil their potential.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive of CBM UK, said “We’re honoured to receive this award, which is testament to the tireless efforts of our experts and partners around the world and the amazing generosity of our supporters who enable our work to happen. But there’s still a huge way to go to end the vicious cycle of poverty and disability. Together, we’re determined to build a world where nobody is needlessly blind and every person with a disability has the chance to fulfil their God-given potential”.

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