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The Hilton Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant to support the work of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology in expanding cataract surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Dana Center will work in conjunction with India’s Aravind Eye Hospital System and five African ophthalmology centers to introduce and document the success of an innovative and entrepreneurial system based on high-quality, high volume and cross-subsidized cataract surgical services. The goal of the project is to double the cataract surgical rates in the four countries participating in the project – Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia and Nigeria. Currently, much of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa does not receive proper intervention for cataracts. If this program is successful, the Hilton Foundation and others would consider larger, long term funding to expand the program. This grant is being supported by matching funds of $1 million from the Bloomberg Foundation.
David S. Friedman, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., the director of the Dana Center and the Alfred Sommer Professor of Ophthalmology at Wilmer, is grateful for the grant and excited about the potential of the project: "The mission of the Dana Center is to prevent blindness throughout the world. This grant will enable us to work with our partners to improve the eye care and possibly save the vision of millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa."
The Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology is a joint collaboration of the Wilmer Eye Institute and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.