2022: What we have achieved together

With the release of our 2022 Annual Report and Accounts we review a year of fighting avoidable blindness across the world. All of our sight-saving work made possible thanks to your incredible support.

Tumurmunkh’s Story

Transporting you to Mongolia, we meet Tumurmunkh. He was born two months prematurely and his parents were anxious about his health.

Baby Tumurmunkh from Mongolia
Baby Tumurmunkh's sight was at risk

They were advised to take Tumurmunkh to a hospital in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city, where Orbis-trained paediatric ophthalmologists could check him for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). A condition of abnormal development of the retina that can affect premature babies. If left untreated, it can cause permanent blindness. Screening is absolutely crucial.

Across Mongolia Orbis are working to integrate eye examinations into newborn and paediatric care to treat cases of ROP and other eye conditions. In 2022, the project screened 20,376 babies and children.

One of these babies was Tumurmunkh. At just one month old the family had travelled 600km from South Gobi to Ulaanbaatar for the screening. There, thanks to our partners, Tumurmunkh received the early intervention and treatment that he needed to save his sight.

Azjargal with her son, Tumurmunkh
Azjargal with her son, Tumurmunkh

His parents were finally able to see a brighter future for their child. His mother Azjargal told us: “It doesn’t matter what my son grows up to do in his life. I just want him to be a good person.”

In a further step forward for paediatric care in Mongolia, last year the Ministry of Health approved the inclusion of red reflex testing into the national paediatrics residency training curriculum. Red reflex is a non-invasive test that can show early warning signs of serious eye conditions like ROP in children. This test is now a compulsory skill that all new paediatrics and neonatologists must learn as part of their residency. It means more babies like Tumurmunkh will have their sight saved.

Our Sight-Saving Work Across the World

Tumurmunkh’s story is just one example of our work last year. But it didn’t stop there. Thanks to you, in 2022 Orbis UK funded 12 projects in total: one in Ghana, one in India, one in Mongolia, one in Nepal, one in Zambia, two in Bangladesh and five in Ethiopia.

Alongside our partners we:

  • Enabled 787,720 eye screenings, exceeding our target by 60%
  • Delivered 13,513 training sessions for clinical staff and community representatives exceeding our target by 3%
  • Enabled 34,574 treatments, exceeding our target by nearly 35%
  • Delivered 3.4 million antibiotic doses, to help eliminate trachoma in Ethiopia.

Reflections and Looking Forward

Rebecca Cronin, Chief Executive of Orbis UK:

Rebecca Cronin

“2022 was a challenging but positive year across all of our Orbis UK funded projects. The global supply of antibiotics was significantly impacted by the pandemic, resulting in challenges to achieving the targets we had set at the start of the year. But I am delighted to report that by the end of the year, we had exceeded nearly all of our targets for treatments, screenings and surgeries.

We are already working hard to build on our successes in 2022 with ambitious plans to scale up our work…We are confident that together we can get even closer to our ambition of creating a world where no one lives with avoidable vision loss, simply because of where they were born.”

To find out more about how your support saved sight last year you can read our 2022 Annual Report and Accounts here.

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