This week the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust hosted a special celebration.
The Trust’s five-year mission, soon to end in 2020, is to curb avoidable blindness and empower a new generation of young leaders.
Since 2014, the Trust has helped more than 22 million people receive vital antibiotics to combat trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, and supported Malawi and Vanuatu in removing the risk of the disease.
So it was that the Queen as well as the vice patron of the Trust, Sophie Countess of Wessex, met beneficiaries of the program at a palace reception to celebrate.
Attendees also included ophthalmologists and eye health professionals from across the Commonwealth.
But it was Sophie who delivered a speech at the reception, with Queen Elizabeth taking a backseat to her daughter-in-law given it was the Countess who had traveled to India in May to see the work of the Trust in action.
It was such a privilege to meet so many people involved in extending the ROP [Retinopathy of Prematurity, the leading cause of childhood blindness] program, which is supported by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust.
It’s been such an example of how with the Trust’s support, they’ve been able to upscale what they do. And they now have a national program in place where they’ll hopefully be able to screen all premature babies for signs of ROP, and then hopefully get them the treatment that they need because without this treatment, they will go blind.
The Trust has provided sight-saving surgery to over 104,000 people suffering with trachoma trichiasis, ensured almost 19,200 people have received treatment to prevent the loss of sight due to diabetes, and established services to screen and treat premature babies at risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity.
Huge congratulations to these wonderful royal women on having improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, giving the beautiful gift of sight to so many around the globe.