IAPB and L’OCCITANE Foundation announce ‘Eye Health Heroes’ 2016


The Eye Health Heroes 2016 initiative will recognize and celebrate frontline staff whose work in the field and engagement with the community makes a real difference in restoring sight. 

This second instalment of the Heroes initative (we honoured 18 Heroes during the 9th General Assembly in 2012) will look to fete ‘Heroes’ nominated by IAPB member organisations from their frontline staff or from their partners at IAPB’s 10th General Assembly in Durban, South Africa. The 10GA is the premier global event discussing public health issues related to blindness and visual impairment.

These individuals are at the forefront of tackling one of the key public health inequities of our times: 4 out of 5 visually impaired people are avoidably so. Nominations are expected to come in from 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.

The 10GA presents an unparalleled opportunity to showcase key personnel and their contributions to a project or mission. At the GA, these heroes will be showcased in a number of ways–online and on-site publicity material, speaking slots during the Assembly and a formal award event during the Celebration ceremony, among other things. We do hope IAPB members will nominate their Heroes and bring them to the Assembly so that they can benefit from the full experience. 

The L’OCCITANE Foundation is sponsoring the eye health Hero awards, including travel bursaries for 2 nominees who will be selected from the final list. Speaking about the awards, Charlotte Bonnet, General Delegate, said “Frontline efforts and community outreach is where decisive good is being achieved across the world. We are excited to partner with IAPB in celebrating the people, who with each intervention, are turning the tide in our favour”.

“IAPB believes that the Heroes are an excellent opportunity to celebrate frontline staff and their work.  And what better opportunity than the General Assembly, in front of the entire sector!” said Joanna Conlon, IAPB’s Director of Development. “We are also delighted that L’OCCITANE will support the Eye Health Heroes initiative at 10GA”.

Those interested can fill in the nomination form on the 10GA website, here:


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.
For more information, please visit:

About L’OCCITANE Foundation

With an average annual budget of € 1,000,000, the L'OCCITANE Foundation supports every year some twenty five projects focusing on fighting avoidable blindness,  women’s leadership, and the preservation of natural heritage.
For more information, please visit:

About the 10th General Assembly

IAPB’s 10th General Assembly (10GA) is the premier global event discussing public health issues related to blindness and visual impairment. With the theme “Stronger Together”, an expected 1600 delegates will have access to an exceptional learning and information exchange opportunities from 27-30 October 2016.
For more information, please visit:

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 causes 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 for latest data on blindness and visual impairment

Media Contact

BV Tejah, Communications Manager, IAPB, +91 99496 97771,