On Commonwealth Day 2014, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust supports eye health experts to accelerate the fight against avoidable blindness

Today eye health experts across the Commonwealth joined forces to combat avoidable blindness, thanks to a major new grant from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.

The £7.1 million grant will enable experts from a range of institutions to come together for the first time as the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium, coordinated by the International Centre for Eye Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The Consortium will pursue vital research into conditions such as diabetic retinopathy which leave millions without sight, and will build capacity across the Commonwealth to tackle avoidable blindness and provide quality care to those affected or at risk.

Worldwide there are 285 million visually impaired people, of whom 39 million are blind. Yet 80% of blindness and visual impairment is curable or treatable.

Good quality eye care is a scarce resource for millions of people across the globe, including in many Commonwealth countries.

Announced on Commonwealth Day 2014, the grant by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust will support the newly created Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium to deliver an integrated programme of fellowships, research and technology.

The Consortium’s highly respected eye health organisations and academic institutions will work together to deliver the programme, which will help strengthen health systems to prevent blindness and make high quality eye care available to all.

For more information or to request interviews with Dr Matthew Burton, please contact the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Press Office on +44(0)20 7927 2802 or press@lshtm.ac.uk.

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