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Vision for a Nation: Universal Access to Eyeglasses for the People of Rwanda
Date:9/24/2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Adaptive Eyewear, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation which aims to provide vision correction solutions to people in the developing world, was recognized yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Fifth Annual Meeting for its exemplary approach to address the significant shortage of eye care specialists and lack of vision infrastructure in Rwanda. Adaptive Eyewear's commitment to the people of Rwanda was announced at the session "Driving Disruptive Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid" on Wednesday 23rd September at 2:45pm.

Adaptive Eyewear is seeking $400,000 in matched funds at the Clinton Global Initiative to distribute self-adjustable eyeglasses that utilize innovative technology which can correct up to 90% of refractive errors. Vision for a Nation is being implemented in three phases. Phase one is underway and funds raised through CGI will be used to support the implementation of phase two, which is a scaled-up programme to screen approximately 300,000 Rwandans. In phase two approximately 50,000 pairs of eyeglasses will be distributed via trained health workers. Phase two will determine the most effective distribution method to ensure the programme can be scaled to a national level (an estimated 7.5 million people) in phase three.

"This technology could transform the lives of millions of people, who due to cost and availability have no access to eye care specialists," said James Chen, Chairman, Adaptive Eyewear. "In sub-Saharan Africa alone, approximately 95% of people who need eyeglasses do not own a pair."

Visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error has the potential to significantly affect a person's education, employment and quality of life and costs at least $121.4 billion per annum globally in lost productivity, according to the WHO. For these reasons it is a significant barrier to the attainment of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals and is a priority of 'Vision2020 - the Right to Sight', an initiative of the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The Government of Rwanda has endorsed Vision for a Nation for the implementation of its national eye care plan.

Vision for a Nation is grateful for the support of its commitment partners: Government of the Republic of Rwanda Ministry of Health, Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, d.o.b foundation, Centre for Vision in the Developing World, Vision Spring, Serious Pictures, Dr. Kazuo Kawasaki - PKD, and Population Services International.

Adaptive Eyewear

Adaptive Eyewear is a UK-based, not-for-profit company working to fulfill the vision correction needs of underserved populations in the developing world. The aim is to make low cost eyeglasses, including self-adjustable eyeglasses, available to these populations where access to eye care services is significantly limited.

The Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 as a project of the nonpartisan William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, the CGI Annual Meeting convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI members have made nearly 1,000 Commitments to Action valued at upwards of $30 billion to improve more than 200 million lives in over 150 countries around the world. Through past Annual Meetings, CGI has brought together more than 80 current and former heads of state, hundreds of top CEOs and non-profit leaders, major philanthropists, and 10 of the last 16 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.


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SOURCE Adaptive Eyewear
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