(PRESS RELEASE) Waterbury, VT – HCP Cureblindness today announces that more than 200,000 patients have received a sight-saving corneal transplant since SightLife International-led efforts to address corneal blindness started in 2009. In March 2023, HCP Cureblindness acquired SightLife International to make a greater global impact in eye care.
“This milestone is incredible,” says HCP Cureblindness CEO K-T Overbey. “Prior to 2009, no systems or resources existed for corneal transplants in many low- and middle-income countries. Those living with corneal blindness had few if any options. Most never regained their sight and lived with limited capacities and increased challenges caused by their blindness.”
HCP Cureblindness assists eye bank development with drafted legislation to collect cornea tissue, public awareness campaigns to increase posthumous donations, patient screening, tissue matching, strategic planning, and HR services. HCP streamlines the process to allow for the collection of quality tissue to be used within a short time frame and matched with a surgeon’s requests.
HCP has trained over 700 eye bankers to correctly handle and manage cornea tissue and established several centers of excellence for training surgeons and other eye bankers to utilize viable donations.
The eye banking system and structure continues to expand in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa as current partners are taking a leadership role in helping to facilitate and expand services to more locations. This is possible because of the systems built from the ground up to allow for scalable growth.
“HCP works with developing eye banks who have shown a commitment to growth, quality and sustainability. The goal is to provide assistance and expertise that allow them to run independently within five years,” explains Overbey. “Our eye bank partners have mature systems with utilization rates comparable with the Western world.”
In addition, many mature partners are now training other developing eye banks, creating a ripple effect to expand care further.
Together, HCP and SightLife International’s respective expertise will have a substantial and long-term impact on the world’s most underserved communities. Building on a shared commitment to training, while also combining HCP Cureblindness’ deep expertise in specialized care delivery and infrastructure development with SightLife International’s expertise in primary care and policy and advocacy, millions more will have access to critical eye care across Asia and Africa.