India is home to more than 20% of the world's blind population and the largest number of blind children in any one country. The divide between the rich and poor continues to increase, leaving a significant portion of the population without access to basic healthcare services — most of whom live either in rural India or in urban slums.

Success in India

We established a permanent office in Delhi in 2000 to focus on the prevention of blindness and the treatment of eye diseases, especially among children. Over the years, Orbis India has worked in the areas of corneal blindness and eye banking, childhood blindness, quality assurance, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy.

India Childhood Blindness Initiative (ICBI)

We launched the India Childhood Blindness Initiative (ICBI), our flagship programme in 2002, to help ensure that India’s children across geographies have access to quality eye care for generations to come. To date, 32 Children’s Eye Centers have been developed across 17 states of the country.

This is the largest network of Children’s Eye Centres in the world. As part of this, we contributed to the development of paediatric ophthalmology as a distinct sub-specialty in the Indian ophthalmology landscape. Our work has also been instrumental in creating and promoting the idea of a paediatric ophthalmology team. This team goes beyond the boundaries of the CEC to work closely with a network of community organisations and volunteers.

Treating Pinki for cataract - Qatar Creating Vision

June 11, 2020

It was Pinki’s grandfather who brought her to the hospital supported by Orbis and the Qatar Fund for Development, through the Qatar Creating Vision initiative.
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Building on our work in quality assurance at eye hospitals, we developed a Quality Resource Centre, which is now supporting other eye care facilities across India and internationally in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

As a founding member of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight INDIA, we are also actively involved in the activities of the World Health Organisation's Vision 2020 initiative.

In fact In 2019 alone, we delivered:

School Eye Health Interventions

Vision and learning are closely related to each other. Globally, more than 12 million children below the age of 15 have uncorrected refractive errors, a common eye disorder. They not only suffer poor vision but also face critical setbacks in development since 80% of learning is visual.

Orbis, with support from the Qatar Fund For Development, launched a four year initiative in 2016 called Qatar Creating Vision. We worked with our partners to fight the problem of uncorrected refractive errors. Our programme called REACH – Refractive Error Among Children – aimed to reduce visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error among school-age children in fifteen districts across the country.

The objectives of this programme were to increase access and to improve the quality of child eye health by providing comprehensive refractive error services to school-age children.


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