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The Orange Foundation and Sightsavers sign fruitful partnership to fight blindness in Cameroon

by david.nunes

The Orange Foundation and Sightsavers sign fruitful partnership to fight

blindness in Cameroon  


The Orange Foundation and development charity Sightsavers announce a partnership to help save the sight of more than 1.2 million people in Cameroon.


Funding from the Orange Foundation will help to prevent disability and stigma caused by blindness, which can result in billions of dollars of lost productivity in developing countries.


Caroline Harper, Chief Executive, Sightsavers commented: “With 90% of all visually impaired people living in developing countries¹, support from organisations like the Orange Foundation can have a huge impact on the lives of the most vulnerable. We are delighted to be working with an organisation committed to giving back to the communities where they work to provide lasting impact for the future.”


The Orange Foundation supports initiatives for health, disability, education and culture in countries where Orange telecommunications already has a business presence. The partnership with Sightsavers will protect 1.2 million people in Cameroon  from the disease river blindness and support 500 sight-restoring surgeries to treat the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness, cataract.


Mireille Le Van, Secretary-General of the Orange Foundation says: “Since 2005, the Orange Foundation contributes to improving the quality of life of people with sensory impairments. In Senegal, Mali, and Ivory Coast we support cataract diagnosis and surgery, and in Armenia, the Mobile Eye Hospital which travels to remote villages to help prevent avoidable blindness. We are very proud to support the Sightsavers programme in Cameroon.”


According to the World Health Organization, there are 120 million people in Africa at risk of contracting river blindness², which is caused by larvae from the black simulium fly which breed in fast moving waters. Funding from the Orange Foundation will help to protect the 6.3 million people are at risk from this blinding disease² in Cameroon.


Cataract causes 48% of the world’s blindness³, often leaving those affected unable to care for themselves. The Orange Foundation’s support will help people like Lawrence from Ntale in Cameroon, who was blinded by cataracts. Prior to his sight restoring cataract operation funded by Sightsavers, he had no income, had outlived all the members of his family, and survived due to the kindness of his neighbours, who provided him with food. Since his operation he is able to cook and clean for himself.


Sightsavers works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent and cure blindness.  It also supports the vital training of health professionals, the promotion of independence for people who are blind and inclusive education for blind and visually impaired children.  In 2010 in Cameroon, Sightsavers supported its partners to carry out treatment of 24,155 people for sight related problems, protect over 1.3 million people from river blindness, and carry out 492 cataract operations.




For further press information, please contact :

       Claire Diamond in the Sightsavers media team on 01444 446 754, cdiamond@sightsavers.org.  For media enquiries out of hours, please call 07775 928253.

       Raymonde Caroline Efangon / Orange Foundation / Cameroon , telephone + 237 99 94 96 62/ raymonde.efangon@orange.cm

       Anne Pawloff / Fondation Orange / Coordination et développement Afrique / Tel : + 33 1 44 44 64 54 / Cell : + 33 6 07 71 13 19anne.pawloff@orange.com


About Sightsavers:

1.     Sightsavers is a registered UK charity (Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110) that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people who are blind and visually impaired.  www.sightsavers.org

2.     There are 39 million blind people in the world; 80% of all blindness can be prevented or cured.

3.     In the six decades since its foundation, Sightsavers has:

       Treated over 206.8 million people for blinding and potentially blinding conditions

       Carried out over 7.1 million operations to restore sight

       Trained almost 0.5 million primary eye care workers

       Carried out rehabilitation training to 91,000 people


About the Orange Foundation


Orange has worked in Cameroon since 2000 and launched the Orange Foundation Cameroon in 2010. Reflecting its desire to make a lasting commitment to philanthropy, the Orange Foundation embodies the Orange brand values, based on proximity, respect and listening to the needs of the various populations and the community in general. In Cameroon, the Foundation will be taking on the missions it has been entrusted with since it was founded by the Group: giving everyone the means to communicate, notably fighting against sensory isolation and fostering social fulfillment, focusing primarily on health, education.



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