SOURCE: Operation Eyesight Universal

Operation Eyesight Universal

April 18, 2016 09:10 ET

A Project Fit for a Queen: Calgary Charity is Saving Eyesight with Funding from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - April 18, 2016) -  Her Majesty the Queen turns 90 this Thursday, and Operation Eyesight would like to take this opportunity to say "thank you" and "happy birthday." The Calgary-based charity is preventing blindness in Kenya thanks to a grant from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which was established to fight avoidable blindness in 2012 in honour of Her Majesty. 

With support from the Trust, Operation Eyesight provided over 500 trachoma surgeries, trained 170 community health workers, and distributed antibiotics to over 200,000 people in Kenya in 2015. In addition, five boreholes were rehabilitated, providing over 5,000 households with fresh water for drinking and washing.

"We're extremely grateful for the Trust's support as we work to fight the blinding eye disease trachoma," says Kashinath Bhoosnurmath, global director of programs. "Funding from the Trust has allowed us to expand our trachoma programs in Kenya, ultimately saving the eyesight of thousands of children, women and men."

Trachoma is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness, and the Trust's Trachoma Initiative is working with Operation Eyesight and other partners to eliminate the disease in Kenya and other Commonwealth countries where it's endemic.

Caused by bacterial infection, trachoma spreads easily through contact with eye discharge from infected people on hands, towels and clothing, and also through direct transmission by flies. Left untreated, it results in the scarring of the cornea and ultimately leads to irreversible blindness. Trachoma is a major health concern in rural communities where people have limited access to clean water and eye care. 

Operation Eyesight is implementing the World Health Organization-endorsed SAFE strategy to eliminate trachoma in the Kenyan counties of Narok and West Pokot. SAFE stands for surgery (to treat the late stage of the disease), antibiotics, facial cleanliness and hygiene education, and environmental improvement including wells and latrines. Operation Eyesight also has trachoma programs in Zambia, although those efforts are not funded by the Trust.

"We have much to celebrate this month: we're one step closer to eliminating avoidable blindness, and it's Her Majesty the Queen's birthday," says executive director Brian Foster. "Thank you and happy 90th birthday from all of us at Operation Eyesight!"

To learn more about The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and Operation Eyesight's trachoma programs in Kenya, visit and

About Operation Eyesight Universal

Operation Eyesight Universal is an international development organization dedicated to eliminating avoidable blindness in developing countries. It was founded in Canada in 1963 by Calgary businessman Art Jenkyns, who was inspired by a Canadian physician working in Sompeta, India. Today, Operation Eyesight Universal is working to restore sight and prevent blindness in India and the African countries of Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. Operation Eyesight invests in sustainable treatment, prevention and community development activities to address specific eye health problems as well as the root causes of avoidable blindness. 

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Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Elizabeth Roden
    Operation Eyesight Universal
    Office: 403-670-2638 
    Mobile: 403-312-6804
    Email contact