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Sightsavers named most cost-effective health charity

November 2019
A woman has her eyes checked by an eye health worker in an outdoor screening camp in India.
Sightsavers was praised for its work with partners to prevent blindness in the Indian Sundarbans region.

Sightsavers has topped a list of health non-profits that make the most impact on people’s lives, compiled by charity evaluator ImpactMatters.

ImpactMatters awarded Sightsavers a five-star rating for cost-effectiveness – the highest score available.

The evaluation was based on independent research into a Sightsavers-run eye health project in the Indian Sundarbans, which showed it can cost as little as $50 (£38) to restore a person’s sight. By working with partners in the region to improve primary eye health care, existing cases of blindness were halved over five years.

The project also left a lasting impact in the Sundarbans by establishing self-sustaining healthcare infrastructure, including 17 vision centres and a school screening project. It was funded by Standard Chartered’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative.

Sightsavers CEO Dr Caroline Harper said: “We are thrilled that ImpactMatters has awarded Sightsavers with the maximum five-star rating for the cost-effectiveness of our eye health project in the Indian Sundarbans.  Working with partners in the Sundarbans, we have been able to halve cases of blindness in the past five years.

“New data from the World Health Organization shows at least a billion people worldwide have sight loss that could have been treated or prevented, or is still to be addressed. This type of model can make an impact on one of world’s most under-reported  health challenges.”

ImpactMatters is a US-based charity evaluator, and the new website rates thousands of non-profits working in health, poverty and animal welfare. To make its evaluations, it gathers non-profits’ data and calculates their cost-effectiveness in terms of making the best use of resources and having the most impact on people’s lives. It then assigns a rating of between one and five stars, helping people decide which causes to support.

Find out more about the ratings on the ImpactMatters website, or read the column in the New York Times.

A couple sit on a bed, smiling.

Halving blindness in the remote Sundarbans

In this rural region of eastern India, a Sightsavers-supported project has helped to transform eye health and change lives.

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