April 04, 2013

— Contact lens manufacturer,  CooperVision, and Optometry Giving Sight’s ‘One Bright Vision’ campaign to help transform lives through the gift of vision, is far surpassing expectations thanks to the commitment of practitioners and their customers. CooperVision has now raised the funds to provide screenings for approximately 25,000 children in Bagamoyo District, Tanzania, with 3,564 recipients already screened to date.

Through sales of all Biofinity contact lenses, whereby CooperVision donates a contribution for each pack sold, the initial phase of the project has seen 15 teachers from five different schools trained to carry out screenings. In addition, 90 children so far have been refracted for vision correction, whilst 146 of the children screened were then referred to the Vision Centre for various eye conditions. Four of those children were then referred to the National Hospital for further management on low vision assessment.

Working closely with local optometrists, it is anticipated that 140 teachers will be trained in basic refraction across 70 schools, and that 50,000 pupils will be screened as part of the next phase of the project, which is initiated and implemented by the Brien Holden Vision Institute.

13-year-old Hashim was one of the first children to be screened by his teacher who was able to detect a problem and referred him to the Bagamoyo Vision Centre where he was diagnosed with cataracts. He was then referred to the National Hospital for the necessary operation.

After the operation was performed successfully, Hashim was also given glasses to help him read and write. “I am so happy,” said Hashim. “I was struggling with my studies a lot – I could barely read or see what I was writing. I was doing badly at school. I would like to thank Optometry Giving Sight, CooperVision and the Bagamoyo Vision Centre. They supported my operation and have changed my life.”

Heathcliffe Clash, Communications Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa at CooperVision said, “We have been overwhelmed with the ongoing support we have received from practitioners and their patients for both the campaign and our Biofinity products. It is so rewarding to be able to help someone like Hashim and really make a big difference to the lives of many children by providing the training for these essential eye health screenings.”

CooperVision’s goal is to raise the necessary funds to support 100,000 eye health screenings for the comprehensive child (7 – 12 years) in the underserved Bagamoyo District in Tanzania by the end of October 2013.

Optometry Giving Sight operates in many countries, particularly the developing world and to date has funded projects that have provided basic eye-care services to over four million people. This has been achieved through the establishment of 100 vision centres and training for more than 2,600 people to become mid-level eye care personnel.

For more information and to get involved visit www.onebrightvision.com.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlotte Antmarker

CONTACT DETAILS: CAntmarker@Coopervision.se

+46 31 727 97 23

About Optometry Giving Sight

Optometry Giving Sight (www.givingsight.org) is the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and a corrective device such as a pair of glasses.

Optometry Giving Sight supports the goals of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). VISION 2020 aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020, in order to give all people in the world the right to sight.