Seeing is Believing is the Bank’s global initiative aimed at tackling avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The Bank collaborates with International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and leading eye care organisations and raises funds for investment in eye care projects that have long-term impact in areas of high need. Standard Chartered has committed to raising USD100 million by 2020 for the programme through fundraising and Bank investment. The Bank commits to match all donations to the programme until the USD100 million target is met. In 2013, the Bank further extended its support for eye health by committing USD20 million to advance the work of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in helping the elimination of avoidable blindness.
Since launching the programme globally in 2003, we have contributed to over 2.9 million cataract operations and surgical interventions, and treated 1.9 million people for river blindness. We have distributed over 500,000 pairs of spectacles and helped to train over 100,000 health workers. In total, we have reached over 45 million people through the provision of services to prevent and treat blindness, and educate communities about eye health. Standard Chartered is the largest cash-based private sector donation programme into the global campaign to eliminate avoidable blindness.
In Kenya, through the Bank’s largest sponsorship in Africa, the Standard Chartered Nairobi International Marathon, to date we have raised over one million dollars. Through the proceeds of the Nairobi Marathon and in partnership with Christian Blind Mission, CBM, we sponsored cataract, glaucoma and trauma related surgeries for needy children under the age of nine at five hospitals country wide. The initiative has helped restore sight to over 4,500 children in Kenya through the hospitals.
In line with our commitment to support the communities we live and work, in 2013 the Bank committed a further US$5 million towards child eye care in East Africa, covering Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The four year program is in partnership with the ministries of health and education in the three countries, the East Africa College for Ophthalmology together with two competent NGO consortiums led by Christian Blind Mission and Brien Holden Vision Institute.
The programme which targets children aged 0 to 15 years, takes a holistic view of child eye health looking at the whole child’s needs: from building awareness and education of child eye health among families and communities; building the referral networks to identify and correctly diagnose children for problems (including within schools); to ensuring the clinical infrastructure and human resources are in place to treat children with blindness and visual impairment; and ensuring that children who cannot be medically or surgically treated are given support and educational opportunities.
The Seeing is Believing East Africa programme which aims to improve child health and reduce avoidable blindness among children in the region will also contribute to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals 1, 2, 3 and 4. The programme will indirectly benefit over 45 million children, the total estimated population of children in East Africa, through conducive changes in national policies, strengthening of national coordination and promoting child eye health. The provision of quality, child friendly and child centred eye health services in the catchment areas of the programme, anticipates serving over 4 million children.
In Kenya the project is being implemented by two consortiums led by Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and International Centre for Eye Care Education (ICEE). The program will cover Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western, Coast, Central and Eastern.
Seeing is Believing’ is our flagship community investment programme that tackles avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Seeing is Believing raises funds to eliminate avoidable blindness, resulting in increased opportunities for education and employment. Working with more than five community partners, we focus on the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness and strive to embed long-term sustainability in each project.
Screening and Surgery
In 2014 we made tremendous steps in restoration of children’s sight:
Through Seeing is Believing, the Bank has purchased state-of-the-art equipment for the beneficiary hospitals, constructed and refurbished eye care health facilities, provided training for eye care medical personnel to increase their capacity and improve delivery of services.
In August last year, Standard Chartered Bank donated eye care equipment valued at KShs.18.5 million to the Ministry of Health. The equipment included slit lamps; auto refractors; refraction sets; lenses; spectacle frames; and low vision devices.The spectacles and equipment were distributed to four tertiary and 18 secondary hospitals across the country. These include Kenyatta National Hospital; Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital; Coast General Hospital; Nyeri and Garissa Provincial Hospitals; Kitale, Narok and Malindi District Hospitals.
We have funded the expansion of eye clinics at Kapsabet, Kapenguria, Iten and Uasin Gishu district hospitals. The new clinics have consultation rooms, mini theatres and state-of-the-art eye equipment.
We strive to improve child eye health service delivery and strengthen referral systems from primary to tertiary level, in order to enhance access to quality, timely and comprehensive child eye-care services. This will be attained through strengthening of human resources for child eye health as well as in managerial aspects, from primary to tertiary level.
Our achievement in 2014 on capacity building includes: