Eye Health Leaders to be celebrated at IAPB Council in China


The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), with support from L’OCCITANE Foundation, will be delivering their third ‘Eye Health Leaders’ awards during IAPB’s Council of Members meetings in Beijing, China in October 2015.

The ‘Eye Health Leaders’ (EHL) awards recognise and celebrate eye health professionals with the vision and potential to lead the eye health sector in the future.

4 out of 5 visually impaired people are avoidably so. Research shows that every dollar spent on eye health has a two-fold return on investment – in developing countries there is a four-fold return. These eye health leaders from within the eye health sector will be leading our efforts to eliminate avoidable blindness and support the needs of those with permanent sight loss in the future.

Nominations are expected to come in from nearly 150 IAPB member organisations from around the world, including virtually every major international eye health NGO, global apex bodies for both ophthalmology and optometry, disabled persons’ organisations, academic institutions and concerned corporations, all working together to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment worldwide.

Previous eye health leaders have moved on to take leading roles in their areas of operations. Dr Uduak Udom, one of the first crop of Eye Health Leaders, for example, is now the President-Elect of the World Council of Optometry. She is also a leading advocate for eye care services in Nigeria. After picking up the award, Dr Udom had said, “The recognition from IAPB really encouraged me to move forward, and I’m doing just that!” Dr Rohit Khanna, another 2013 awardee, is now on the IAPB 10th General Assembly (10GA) Programme Committee.

The L’OCCITANE Foundation is once again sponsoring the eye health leader awards. The Foundation has been part of the EHL award initiative from inception, and has always expressed their keen interest in showcasing and celebrating eye care professionals with talent and drive. This year too, the foundation will be sponsoring two travel bursaries of 1000 Euros each, to support Eye Health Leaders attending the meetings in Beijing. The Deadline for nominations is 11 September, but to qualify for the bursary, nominations must be received before 20 August.

Speaking about the awards, Charlotte Bonnet, L’OCCITANE Foundation’s General Delegate, said “We are proud to support this initiative again this year and reinforce our partnership with IAPB. No successful action can be driven without motivated people, and talented professionals are one of the keys of success for any efficient eye care service. Let’s celebrate them!”

“IAPB believes the awards are an excellent opportunity to nurture and recognise future leaders of the eye health sector. We are also delighted that the L’OCCITANE Foundation continue to support the awards at IAPB’s Council of Members meetings. The meetings are a great place for nurturing dialogue and mapping progress within the eye care sector”, said Joanna Conlon, IAPB’s Director of Development. 

IAPB website.


About IAPB

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the coordinating membership organisation leading international efforts in blindness prevention activities.

IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes. The annual IAPB Council of Members meetings will be held this year in Beijing, China from 12-15 October 2015, and is a membership-only event. For more information, please visit the IAPB website

About L’OCCITANE Foundation

With an average annual budget of € 1,000,000, the L'OCCITANE Foundation supports every year some fifteen projects focusing on support for the visually impaired and women’s entrepreneurship in Burkina Faso. For more information, please visit the Foundation's website

Global Facts

  • About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment)
  • Preventable cause are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden
  • About 90% of the world's visually impaired people live in developing countries
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness

Please visit the IAPB website for latest data on blindness and visual impairment.

Media Contact

B V Tejah, IAPB Communications Manager, +91 99496 97771,