Partner Agencies

Partnering Agencies72.jpg25_img.jpg19_img.jpg6_img.gif63.jpg12_img.jpg52.jpg9_img.jpg22_img.jpg31_img.jpg20_img.gif32_img.jpg65.png50_img.jpg81.jpg50.jpg79.jpg17_img.jpg86.jpg1_img.gif76.jpg21_img.gif55.jpg47_img.gif15_img.jpg73.jpg43_img.gif45_img.jpg3_img.jpg8_img.jpg46_img.jpg2_img.jpg56.jpg16_img.jpg82.png29_img.gif1_img.png54.png83.jpg44_img.jpg27_img.jpg13_img.gif49_img.jpg77.jpg37_img.jpg48_img.jpg

News from International Eye Foundation - Year in Review 2012

Victoria Sheffield
Victoria Sheffield of International Eye Foundation shares this newsletter summarizing activities of the IEF from 2012. 
banner logo 
Year End 2012
In This Issue
"Clinica Oftalmologica Ojo Sano Opens
Increased Cataract Surgery in North India
Rebuilding Eye Care in Haiti
Building Capacity in Peru
IEF Assists Recife Eye Hospital
Vizualiza Establishing Training Center
Cameroon - Nearly One Million Treated
World Sight Day 2012
IAPB 9th General Assembly - Hyderabad
Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness
Bulgaria Tour
Christian Ophthalmology Society
IEF at the AAO in Chicago
Dr. Mansur Rabiu of MEACO Visits IEF
Board Elects New Officers
Visit our blog
Donate Now

  International Eye Foundation
  Year in Review - 2012


  IEF is now over 50 years old and busier than ever thanks to our 

  partners and donors!


"Clínica Oftalmológica Ojo Sano" opens in Nicaragua! Opening of clinic in Nicaragua


Dr. Abraham Delgado and his team proudly opened a new "social enterprise" eye clinic on August 29th, 2012 in Managua. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, IEF, Rotary International and Lions Clubs International, Visualiza in Guatemala, and Mario Sacasa of Future of Nicaragua joined in the celebration. Serving 1.5 million people, revenue will cross-subsidize quality eye care for the poor. Thanks go to the Lavelle Fund for the
Blind and Vision
for the Poor for their financial support! Above right, IEF's VP for Programs, John Barrows cuts the ribbon with Dr. Delgado.

Major increases in cataract surgery in rural North India!


There's no electricity at the Akhand Jyothi Eye Hospital in Bihar State. Fuel is trucked in to run generators 24/7. Similar challenges face the Sitapur Eye Hospital in Uttar Pradesh, and the Rotary Eye Hospital in Himachal Pradesh in the Himalayas. Thanks to a generous grant from the Alcon Foundation, IEF's Raheem Rahmathullah, Director of Sustainability Initiatives, worked closely the hospitals' leadership making significant management and technical changes to increase efficiency and the number of patients treated.

In just one year, the three hospitals showed a 19% increase in the number of patients examined from 261,461 to 311,298. Cataract surgery increased by 24% from 51,275 to 63,634 with just over 38,000 operations being performed free of charge for the poor. Revenue increased 21% from just over $3.2 million to nearly $4 million. IEF is excited because these data reflect sustainable growth of services and a reduction of dependence on donations.

Papers describing the achievements in North India were presented at the International Congress of Ophthalmology in Abu Dhabi in February, and at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 9th General Assembly in Hyderabad, India in September.  

Haiti Eye Care Symposium Participants

Rebuilding Eye Care in Haiti...


The NGO/Haiti Consortium includes leading eye care NGOs working hard to build a strong eye care infrastructure in Haiti. At the invitation of Alcon Labs, IEF's John Barrows participated in the "Haiti Eye Care Symposium" in Port-au-Prince in May which brought together 10 international eye care NGOs and universities, and 16 Haitian coordinating organizations, societies and eye hospitals; the first such gathering since the earthquake in 2010 (photo top right). Mr. Barrows outlined the concepts of sustainability as a model for restructuring eye care in the country (photo center left). At Haiti Eye Care Symposium Participants the Orly Hospital in Port-au-Prince, the capital, IEF is helping develop the management capacity to increase services. Mr. Barrows worked with Dr. Valery Blot, the new Coordinator for Haiti's National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness, visited two eye hospitals, and gathered information for a proposal to support sustainability planning and improve outreach services in the southern region in collaboration with Orbis International.


"Vision Plus Clinique" in Cap Haitien will open in early 2013! Another joint venture supported by IEF and Vision for the Poor with technical assistance from Visualiza in Guatemala, Dr. Guerline Roney and Dr. Marie Carmelle Lucien can't wait to move in.  The new equipment, instruments and supplies will make a critical difference in their ability to care for their patients. And a big thank you to Food for the Poor for their logistical support. Photo right L-R: John Barrows, Dr. Lucien, Dr. Roney, and Visualiza's Juan Francisco Yee.

Building Capacity in Peru

Peru attendees Dr. Mariano Yee from Visualiza in Guatemala joined IEF's Raheem Rahmathullah to review the training curricula at Clínica Divino Nino Jesus (DNJ) in Lima to develop best practices in teaching Small Incision Cataract Surgery. Building on the huge success at Clinica Dinvino Nino over the last two years, DNJ's Mr. Alberto Lazo and Mr. Rahmathullah have been working with the Regional Eye Institute (IRO) staff in Trujillo to ensure maximum use of space in their new building and track progress on their sustainability plan. With support from Orbis International, IRO has created efficiencies, strengthened patient counseling which increases patient acceptance rates for surgery, and doubled the number of patients operated.
Peru attendees

IEF Assists Recife Eye Hospital in Brazil...


Working with Dra. Liana O. Ventura, President of the Ventura Foundation which manages the Recife Eye Hospital, Raheem Rahmathullah is again working his magic to increase efficiencies and patient services, reduce costs, and increase revenue. IEF's technical assistance in developing the hospital's strategic plan is supported by CBM/Latin America. The expansion of the hospital's eye care services will enable more people to access critical treatment for eye diseases. Photo above right shows surgeons being trained in Small Incision Cataract Surgery.  

Guatemala:  Visualiza Establishing Training Center!


Visualiza in Guatemala
Visualiza, one of IEF's first sustainability partners in 2002 and an IEF Regional Demonstration Center, performs over 15% of all cataract surgery in Guatemala. With support from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, plans are underway to build a formal training center on the Visualiza campus where teams from other hospitals in Latin America can come to learn the sustainability change process. Additionally, a large supply of intra-ocular lenses has been procured enabling Visualiza surgeons to increase their cataract surgery for the poor.

Cameroon:  Nearly One Million Treated! Oncho in Cameroon


Over 20 years ago, IEF pioneered Mectizan® distribution in Cameroon to fight "river blindness", a debilitating disease caused by worms that are passed from person to person by flies. In Adamaoua and South Provinces, IEF works with the National Onchocerciasis Task Force, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control, and Lions Clubs International to ensure that everyone at risk receives their annual dose of this miracle drug! The IEF team in Cameroon led by Patrice Nkwele, also treated over 600,000 with Albendazole to reduce infections from other parasites.

World Sight Day 2012
From Vision Research to Vision Loss Prevention 

Oncho in Cameroon As a founding member of Vision 2020/USA, IEF once again co-hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to raise awareness about blindness in the US and abroad. John Prakash, PhD, the brand new Associate Director for International Programs at the National Eye Institute (NEI) in Bethesda and John Crews, DPA, a Health Scientist with the Vision Health Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta shared empowering data highlighting the burgeoning threat of blindness caused by cataract, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and especially diabetes. Research and education are the key to changing behaviors among Americans where obesity and lack of exercise are threatening the sight and lives of the young every day. To learn more, visit at the NEI. World Sight Day is an international day of awareness held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. Photo L-R: IEF President and CEO Victoria Sheffield with Dr. Prakash and IEF Board member Dr. Ralph Helmsen.
IAPB 9th General Assembly, 17-20 September 2012, Hyderabad, India


IAPB 9th General Assembly 2012 IEF staff and colleagues were active participants at the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) quadrennial general assembly in September. As a member of the Organizing Committee, IEF's Victoria Sheffield noted that "the preparations made by our hosts at the LV Prasad Eye Institute were superb making this the most successful general assembly ever!" Ms. Sheffield was invited to organize Course #12, "Financing Eye Hospitals in Poor Countries" which had speakers and panelists representing China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, and the USA including IEF's Vice President for Programs John Barrows. Raheem Rahmathullah presented a paper titled "A Bottom-Up Approach to Influencing National Eye Care Strategies in Peru" highlighting the major growth in services and leadership at the Clínica Divino Nino Jesus in Lima.  DNJ is now a force for change in Peru and the Latin America Region and IEF is proud to have played a role in their success.

"Satisfying Demand for High Technology IEF at 9th GA Cataract Surgery by Poor People Without Going Broke" was the title of IEF's poster describing the achievements at the three eye hospitals in North India reported above. Shown at right, Mr. Barrows, Ms. Sheffield and Mr. Rahmathullah at the IEF exhibit.

John Barrows, IEF VP for Programs, received one of two IAPB/North America Regional Achievement Awards recognizing his more than 30 IEF at 9th GA years of international development experience, especially in blindness prevention.  His nomination noted that John "...has been a force behind IEF's innovative SightReach® Management sustainability program established in 1999 which now includes a network of 29 eye hospitals and clinics in 17 countries. He also oversaw the creation in 1999 of SightReach Surgical® as the first non-profit platform for securing ophthalmic products to help eye care providers around the globe gain access to new instruments, equipment and supplies at affordable prices to reduce the cost of providing care".  Pictured L-R are former IEF Board Chair Dr. Jim Ganley, Mr. Barrows and Ms. Sheffield.

IEF's Eye Health Hero was Mr. Baha'a Sabry, IEF at 9th GA Director of Outreach and Sustainability Programs at the Al Noor Foundation in Egypt. Ms. Sheffield noted that "Baha'a has been instrumental in the success of the outreach programs serving the Magrabi Eye Hospital and IEF's partnership in Egypt". Pictured L-R: John Barrows, Baha'a Sabry, Raheem Rahmathullah, and Dr. Nico and Juan Francisco Yee, Eye Health Heroes nominated by the Seva Foundation. A grand recognition of sustainability experts!

Dr Larry Schwab "The Right to Sight and to Walk Without Fear" was presented by IEF Board member Dr. Larry Schwab, a Vietnam War combat veteran in the US Army Medical Corps who is a passionate advocate in the global effort to ban landmines and cluster munitions. Dr. Schwab presented data that reflects the reduction in blindness rates, much of which is credited to the 1997 International Treaty to Ban Landmines of which IEF is a signatory. Photo courtesy Campaign to Ban Landmines: Dr. Schwab at right in Laos with patient blinded by a landmine.
Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness

A consortium of like-minded development NGOs and institutions passionate about building capacity for sustainable eye care service delivery has been working closely to increase the number of mentor and mentee eye care institutions with the goal of performing one million cataract operations by the year 2020.  IEF's Raheem Rahmathullah notes that "only by increasing efficiency, quality, and revenue generation of existing eye care services can we meet the growing demand for eye care in developing countries". The consortium includes social entrepreneur David Green, IEF/USA, KCCO/South Africa, LAICO/India, LV Prasad Eye Institute/India, Seva Foundation/US, and Seva/Canada. Thirty-seven representatives of mentor eye hospitals, international NGOs, and a corporate sponsor (TOMS) met during the IAPB 9th General Assembly at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad to review progress towards improving efficiency and sustainability, developing effective communications to donors, and best practices to strengthen mentoring of new eye hospitals.
Bulgaria Tour IEF visiting Bulgaria


The fourth IEF tour took place in July 2012 to Bulgaria. Hosted by IEF Country Representative Prof. Petja I. Vassileva, MD, PhD, DSc, MPH (Johns Hopkins) and her Akad. Pashev University Eye Hospital which also houses the Sofia International Eye Bank, participants learned about the evolution of eye care from a socialist system to the present day 22 years after Bulgaria's "velvet revolution". Joining the tour were IEF Board member Dr. Ralph Helmsen, and his wife Mary who particularly enjoyed learning about services for the blind in Bulgaria. The group toured the country including visits to the ancient capitals of Plovdiv with its Roman ruins, and Veliko Tarnovo with its fortress from the time of the Crusades; the Rila Monastery, and Nessebar and Sozopol on the Black Sea, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites; and recently discovered 5,000 year old Thracian ruins at Perperikon. Pictured L-R: Ms. Sheffield, Dr. Helmsen, and Prof. Vassileva.

Ms. Sheffield Keynote Speaker at Christian Ophthalmology Society meeting in July

"It was a privilege to be invited to give presentations on sustainability programming at the COS meeting held in Savannah, GA on July 26th" noted Ms. Sheffield who thanked COS President Dr. Stephen Demick and Dr. Stan Pletcher for inviting her. She discussed the evolution of volunteering and presented IEF case studies from Ghana, Guatemala, and India. "The missionary ophthalmologists who attend this meeting serve the poor in some of the remotest parts of our world" said Ms. Sheffield noting that her very first visit to Africa was with a Christian Medical Society team in 1974 that fanned out to hospitals throughout Liberia. Eye care has come a long way since those days, but there is still so much more to do, especially in helping build sustainable services so that even more poor people can be reached.
IEF active at the AAO in Chicago

IEF again had an exhibit promoting SightReach Surgical® at this year's American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting 10-13 November in Chicago. As a member of the AAO Global Outreach Committee, Ms. Sheffield helped organize the International Forum which themed "Addressing Diabetic Blindness and Refractive Error: Worldwide Screening and the Basic Eye Exam" at which John Barrows spoke about "Procurement and pricing structures for services" as part of the panel titled "Addressing Refractive Error in Countries with Poor Access to Services". As an associate instructor, Raheem Rahmathullah presented at the course titled "Ophthalmologists' Strategies for Enhancing Organizational Effectiveness in Developing CJoint reception at AAO in Chicagoountries: Case Examples." IEF again joined ORBIS, Seva, SEE, HKI, Himalayan Cataract Project, and SightLife co-sponsoring the joint NGO reception  bringing together over 200 international colleagues and friends to "celebrate our shared commitment to end avoidable blindness." Pictured at left are the CEOs of the sponsoring NGOs. The highlight was Dr. Marilyn Miller's welcome as the 2012 AAO "International Blindness Prevention Award" recipient who humbly noted that "she accepted the award on behalf of all of us".
Dr. Mansur Rabiu of MEACO visits IEFDr Mansur Rabiu visits IEF (second from right)

IEF was pleased to welcome friend and colleague Dr. Mansur Rabiu, Director of Programs for the IAPB Eastern Mediterranean Region and the Prevention of Blindness Union based in Saudi Arabia, to visit Washington after the AAO meeting. IEF first supported Dr. Rabiu as a young ophthalmologist in the 1990's to conduct a trachoma prevalence survey in his home area of northern Nigeria. The results identified the presence and prevalence of trachoma in the country which led to control programs that have significantly reduced blindness from this ancient disease. Pictured L-R: Mr. Rahmathullah, Ms. Sheffield, Dr. Rabiu, and Mr. Barrows.
New Officers Elected to Lead IEF

Dr Mansur Rabiu visits IEF (second from right) Kathryn D. Leckey, Esq., a partner in the Magee Law Firm in McLean, VA who has been involved with IEF for over 20 years was elected Chair for the current year.  His Excellency Steve Matenje, Ambassador to the US from the Republic of Malawi was elected Vice Chair with Allen Beach as Treasurer, and Dr. Mary Catherine Fischer as Secretary.  Dr. A. Raymond Pilkerton will serve as Senior Medical Director.  Dr. Frank S. Ashburn, Jr., IEF Chair for the past two years becomes Immediate Past Chair.  Rejoining the Board are Cyd Everett, Mark J. Izzo of Philadelphia, and W. Scott Peterson, MD from Connecticut. A full list of IEF's Trustees is listed on our website

Search by continent

GlobalSight Newsletters

Signup to receive our newsletters.
Cron Job Starts