Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

The FCDO leads the UK's work to end extreme poverty, deliver the Global Goals, and tackle global challenges in line with the government's UK Aid Strategy.

Vision for Zambia

In 2015, Orbis UK benefited for the first time from UK Aid Match funding, matching what we raised from a public appeal. By the time the ‘Vision for Zambia’ project ended in 2019, more than 99,000 children across 10 districts in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province had been screened for eye conditions for the first time, and more than 800 health professionals had been trained on eye health.

Significant awareness raising in communities means that many more people understand the importance of eye health and know how and where to access services, including those in remote areas. An effective referral network was established so that people with more complex eye conditions can now be easily referred to the district and provincial hospitals for quality treatment.

Comprehensive Rural Eye Care in Ethiopia

A UK Aid Direct grant funds a five-year project in rural southern Ethiopia, with a focus on trachoma elimination. By its midpoint in 2020, the project had administered nearly 2.4m doses of antibiotics to tackle infectious trachoma and provided over 3,000 surgeries to address the painful, late stage of blinding trachoma. We use innovative messages in schools and the broader community to highlight the role that good hygiene plays in fighting trachoma.

Screening Schoolchildren for Refractive Error in Nepal

Our 2019 ‘See My Future’ appeal raised £1.39m including the UK Aid Match grant. It enabled expansion of our REACH (Refractive Error Among Children) programme into a second province in south eastern Nepal. Almost 140,000 schoolchildren are screened annually and provided with spectacles if necessary, enabling them to engage better at school and maximise their educational achievement. Orbis pioneered REACH in 2016 in India, thanks to the support of the Qatar Fund for Development. It has already been tremendously successful there, providing 4.25 million eye screenings, more than 129,000 optical treatments and 1,400 surgeries as well as training over 55,000 teachers and community workers.

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