Essilor’s partnership with the Royal Government of Bhutan to make Bhutan the first country free of uncorrected poor vision is set to reach another major milestone – April 2021 will see the completion of the delivery of 400,000 pairs of glasses to provide first-time eyewear to all Bhutanese citizens suffering from uncorrected poor vision.
In December 2018, we signed Letters of Intent with the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Central Monastic Body to address the two greatest barriers to good vision – the lack of access and awareness – through training and capacity building, philanthropic support and raising awareness. A quarter of Bhutan’s population suffer from uncorrected poor vision and many are also at risk of exposure to UVA/UVB rays due to high altitudes. To meet the immediate need for correction and protection, 400,000 pairs of corrective eyewear and sunglasses were to be donated and dispensed via existing healthcare programmes over the course of this partnership.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Bhutanese Ministry of Health had been able to carry out most of its planned activities to deliver good vision to all its citizens, including eye screening camps in a safe and hygienic manner. It has in fact completed the nation-wide screening of all of its school children. Recently, Essilor was invited to participate in an eye screening camp organized by the Ministry of Health in the Dagana district of south-west Bhutan where over 300 people were screened for various eye conditions and those in need, provided with free glasses.
We thank Essilor International for its unwavering support towards achieving our goal of ‘Eradicating Avoidable Blindness’ in these times of turmoil and uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We thank Essilor International for its unwavering support towards achieving our goal of ‘Eradicating Avoidable Blindness’ in these times of turmoil and uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic,” expressed Dasho Dechen Wangmo, Minister of Health for Bhutan, in a letter of appreciation shared with Essilor in February 2021.
You can track the progress of our partnership with Bhutan here.