Combat Blindness Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Sight-saving Work
MADISON - The 25th anniversary of saving or restoring the sight of more than 130,000 people around the world will be celebrated on Wednesday night by an organization founded by a UW Health ophthalmologist.
The Combat Blindness Foundation (CBF), founded by Dr. Suresh Chandra in 1984, will celebrate 25 years of service from 6-8pm on Wednesday, November 6 at the Madison Marriott West on John Q. Hammons Drive in Middleton. Chandra is professor of ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
In the last 25 years, CBF has supported more than 130,000 cataract surgeries in India, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam, Gambia and Paraguay. CBF also sponsors the UW Health Free Community Eye Care Clinic, which provides free eye exams, glasses and if necessary, surgery to the uninsured and underinsured in south central Wisconsin.
"With a relatively small amount of money, people can make a big difference for people who need cataract surgery or other treatment," said Chandra.
He says as little as $20 can restore sight help people see their families and friends once again.
After years of traveling to India to lecture and demonstrate high technology retinal and vitreous surgery, Chandra realized that the major causes of blindness in developing countries are cataracts and vitamin A deficiency, which can be treated at relatively low costs.
Since 1984, CBF has sponsored over 3,000 eye screening projects in developing countries, screened over 650,000 patients, funded over 130,000 cataract surgeries and helped more than 30,000 children suffering from vitamin A deficiency and malnutrition.
Wednesday's gala will include a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres reception from 6-7pm followed by a program. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Gullapalli Rao, founder of the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderbad, India, and the former president of both the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. Rao will discuss efforts to create sustainable solutions in eye care and the long-term impact CBF's partnership will have on alleviating the burden of blindness throughout the world.
The centerpiece for the gala will be a cube sculpture created by students in two eighth grade classrooms at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton. The students created their own individual cubes, some with pictures of people who have been helped by CBF. The cubes were constructed into a sculpture that will be displayed at the gala. The exercise was designed to give the students some understanding of the experience of blindness and the importance of helping our global community.
Date published: 10/30/2009
Date Published: 10/30/2009