Eye Bank of Ethiopia Wins Award Highlighting Success of Public Private Partnership

​The Eye Bank of Ethiopia has been awarded the 2020 P3 Impact Award.

The Eye Bank of Ethiopia has been awarded the 2020 P3 Impact Award.

The P3 Impact Award was created by Concordia, the University of Virginia Darden School Institute for Business in Society, and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships to recognize and honor leading public-private partnerships (P3s) that improve communities and the world. Inaugurated in 2014, the P3 Impact Award is presented each fall at the Concordia Annual Summit in New York, New York.

The annual P3 Impact Award recognizes exemplary cross-sector collaborations that feature public, private, nonprofit or non-governmental organizations addressing societal challenges. The Eye Bank of Ethiopia's Elimination of Corneal Blindness Partnership is the seventh public-private partnership (P3) to win the annual award.

“On behalf of the Eye Bank community I would like to thank the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, SightLife, Himalayan Cataract Project, the Ethiopian Eye Bank Community, and all who have been working with our service for your incredible support and dedication to cornea care in Ethiopia,” said Lemlem Ayele, the Eye Bank’s Director.

Globally, more than 12.7 million people experience corneal blindness, making it one of the world’s leading causes of avoidable blindness. The vast majority of those affected live in low- and middle-income countries, where access to a cornea graft or transplant is severely constrained in part due to limited eye banks to supply the cornea tissue.

The Eye Bank of Ethiopia was established in 2003 and has worked tirelessly to reverse corneal blindness in the country through the collection and processing of donor corneas. Initially when the Eye Bank formed, there were no corneal transplant surgeons trained in the country.

In 2011, HCP began working in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health, SightLife and Orbis International to increase efficiency of the Eye Bank and attract more ophthalmologists to the cornea subspecialty. Through a culmination of efforts among the partners, the Eye Bank's capacity and impact have grown steadily. From 2003 to 2019, the Eye Bank successfully distributed over 2,400 corneas for transplant.

"Our collaboration with the Eye Bank of Ethiopia, SightLife and Orbis International to address corneal blindness in Ethiopia and strengthen the eye bank has been a decade long process and we are thrilled with the progress and honored by the P3 award," said Dr. Matt Oliva, HCP Board Member and Clinical Advisor for Ethiopia. 

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