In 2017 many private and public investors developed The Cameroon Cataract Development Impact Loan to provide funding to restore rural sub-Saharan African and Asian citizens with cataract surgery to restore their eyesight. The organization Sightsavers led this campaign through the use of social impact bonds.
The loan bonds have been used in the United States and the United Kingdom. The loans are designed to help create a new eye hospital through renowned eye institutes like the African Eye Foundation. The hospital will provide cataract surgeries and train eye health professionals.
“When they came and told us we could be helped I was happy and I feel my prayers have been answered today”. Last year, Ayishetu and her sister Barikisu were operated for blinding trachoma, which has now been eliminated in Ghana. 📷 Ruth McDowall #endtrachoma #beatNTDs #nomorentds #blindness #sightloss #visionloss #eyes #eyehealth #africa #travelafrica #unlimitedafrica #instastories #westafrica #portraits #portraitphotography
The loan was set-up to be paid back in around five years or less with all investors being paid with a nice return based on how well the new hospital would meet its targeted surgical outcome. Under the Aid Match program, the UK government would match money donated for specific causes like Sightsavers Million Miracles cataract operations.
Prime Minister May stated that they were able to reach the target in just three years with successful sight saving and restoring cataract operations performed. The Sightsavers campaign was the first non-governmental organization selected for this campaign.
It was Sightsavers goal to provide a million cataract operations in Africa and Asia and this feat was accomplished with many sight-restoring miracle stories from individuals and their families. At a recent reception with Prime Minister Theresa May as the guest speaker, the Sightsaver organization was singled out as an honoree for their cataract surgical work in Africa and Asia.
The Sightsavers CEO, Dr. Carolina Harper and other international organizations under the banner of the Department for International Development’s Aid Match program were acknowledged. The Prime Minister spoke about the work and funding that Aid Match has accomplished for initiatives in 20 countries including the many successful cataract surgery procedures in Africa.
UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, praised the impact of the Sightsavers’ Million Miracles campaign which enabled the investors and health organizations to reach their three-year target sooner than expected and to give people a new vision on life. Dr Harper from Sightsavers stated that the main cause of blindness around the world are cataracts which can be cured with an operation. Aid Match enabled the organization to help millions of individuals from the continents of Africa and Asia.
Dr. Harper said that even though Sightsavers is joyous about hitting the surgical target, there is still many millions more who need this life changing operation and so there is still more work to do.