Qatar Creating Vision Features in the Sustainable Development Goals Good Practice Guide

The United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs has released their second group of programmes and initiatives which highlight examples of good practice, including those that could be replicated or scaled-up by others across the globe.

As part of this second push, the Qatar Creating Vision (QCV) initiative, funded by Qatar Fund for Development and implemented by Orbis, has been chosen amongst other organisations and programmes, as a model of good practice, tackling seven of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The initiative was launched in 2016 to reduce childhood blindness in India and Bangladesh and ran until the end of 2020 with 6.7 million eye tests and treatments provided predominantly to children. QCV, which featured the largest school eye screening programme of its kind called REACH – Refractive Error Amongst Children, was supported by numerous NGOs and hospitals throughout the two countries. With 80% of a child’s learning undertaken through sight, reduced vision can mean missed educational opportunities. The programme was designed to bring eye care closer to home for those who required support but were unable to access the treatment.

Orbis collaborated with hospital partners, local school authorities, local ministries of health and education and developed vision centres. In addition, the programme focused on the education of teachers, teams of local health workers and the community to raise vital awareness of how to spot eye problems, and what action to take, whilst also paying close attention to establishing strong follow up services.

Rebecca Cronin, CEO Orbis UK said: “Qatar Creating Vision created a system whereby children, no matter their economic background, can have equal access to services through community interventions and school screening.

“Through the generosity of the Qatar Fund for Development’s $8m donation and thanks to the capabilities of our many partners, we are very proud that this programme features in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Good Practice Guide.”