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November 30, 2017

USAID Child Blindness Program Partners Meeting

CAMRIS International, as part of the Partners for Global Research and Development (PGRD) joint venture, recently convened the second Partners Meeting for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Child Blindness Program (CBP). The PGRD-implemented CBP is a five-year program that provides grants to U.S. - and non-U.S.-based organizations to expand the delivery of quality eye care services to children and vulnerable populations. The meeting, a collaboration between CBP and the Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO) South Africa, took place in Cape Town, South Africa from October 11-13, 2017. Over 35 USAID representatives, CBP administrators, ophthalmologists, and CBP implementers attended the meeting.

The view of Cape Town from Table Mountain

The purpose of the meeting was “to gather CBP project implementers to expand knowledge, share lessons learned, identify success stories, and look to the future.” Topics of the meeting included innovation, diabetes in children, refractive error, low vision and rehabilitation, human resources, cost-effectiveness and sustainability, collaboration with government and public sector, and a look to the future of CBP.

The CBP and KCCO Partners Meeting was a three-day conference “to gather CBP project implementers to expand knowledge, share lessons learned, identify success stories, and look to the future.”

In addition to presentations by CBP, USAID, and CBP implementers, the partners meeting included several breakout sessions, which allowed individuals to attend the sessions of their choosing and participate in further discussions regarding the delivery of eye care services.

USAID, CBP, ophthalmologists, and grantees attended the CBP and KCCO Partners Meeting

The hard work of individuals, including the Partners Meeting attendees shown above, has enabled CBP to provide eye care services to two million individuals worldwide since 1991. Interventions include eye health education, vision screening, provision of eyeglasses and low-vision services, cataract and more advanced sight-saving surgeries, rehabilitation services, and training of healthcare workers and other community workers.

We commemorated World Sight Day with cake, a small token of our gratitude for the participants who are ardently working to deliver quality eye care services around the world.

The Partners Meeting was a rewarding capacity building experience that kicked off on World Sight Day, a global event to raise public awareness about avoidable blindness and vision impairment so that individuals, communities, and countries can take preventive steps and better address the global health and development challenge. During the three-day event, participants not only were able to share success stories, solicit insights and feedback, and learn from one another but also were able to network and initiate partnerships. The conference concluded with a look to the future on how CBP can increase knowledge about and expand the delivery of quality and comprehensive eye care services around the world.