2017 Champalimaud Vision Award distinguishes extraordinary performance in supporting forgotten communities around the world
Today the winners of the 2017 António Champalimaud Vision Award are announced: the work of Sightsavers e CBM helps millions of people to live productively and independently.
The 2017 António Champalimaud Vision Award is given jointly to Sightsavers and CBM, two organisations with long and distinguished histories of supporting blindness prevention, alleviation and rehabilitation programmes in developing countries like Nepal, Mozambique, Uganda Ethiopia and Bangladesh.
There are 39 million blind people in the world and 80% of all blindness can be prevented or cured. Sightsavers and CBM have spent decades fighting blindness in dozens of countries across the globe. Both are recognised as pioneers in the field and were the creators of a model to combat vision disorders based around 3 pillars: prevention, cure and support. The awarded organisations have exported this model to many of the forgotten communities worldwide, and they have worked with local groups to create effective and sustainable vision programmes.
In addition to their frontline activities in blindness prevention and cure, both Sightsavers and CBM actively seek to empower individuals permanently disabled by blindness to play an active role in society. In many countries people suffering from vision disorders and other disabilities are stigmatised and excluded from society. This can be devastating for individuals, families and communities. CBM and Sightsavers work to change societal attitudes and promote educational and employment opportunities for those living with blindness and severe visual impairment. Their work has allowed many people with severe disabilities to live productive, independent lives that enable them to contribute to society on an equal and dignified basis.
And so ended the 11th edition of the António Champalimaud Vision Award - the world's largest award in the field of vision with a value of 1 million euros – simultaneously recognising pioneering scientific research developed in the field of vision (even-numbered years) and institutions which are active in the prevention and fight against blindness and vision diseases in the field, especially in developing countries (odd-numbered years). There are already thousands of people who have, directly or indirectly, benefited from the contribution that the Vision Award represents in the activities carried out by all the winners over these 11 years, but because there is much more to do, the Champalimaud Foundation maintains its commitment to continue distinguishing those who struggle on a daily basis for the eradication of avoidable blindness in the world, whether in the lab, or in the field.