Sightsavers has been given the the António Champalimaud Vision Award for its contribution towards preventing and alleviating blindness and visual impairment in developing countries.
The awards ceremony, which took place on 5 September in Lisbon, was organised by the Champalimaud Foundation, which carries out biomedical research and develops scientific solutions to improve the health of people around the world.
The award recognises groups that are actively involved in fighting blindness and visual impairment.
The jury of international scientists and public figures highlighted Sightsavers’ work leading the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP), the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, which ended in 2016. The GTMP helped to pinpoint areas in which trachoma is endemic, to ensure resources can be allocated to eliminate the disease by 2020. During the project, surveyors collected data from 2.6 million people in 29 countries using Android smartphones.
Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper said: “So much of the blindness in the world is avoidable, and we are delighted to receive such high praise and support of our work to help change this situation for good. It is gratifying to know our work supporting people with disabilities to live independent lives is also being recognised.”
Sightsavers shares the award with CBM, an international Christian organisation working to transform the lives of people with disabilities and at-risk communities in the world’s poorest places.