Movies | Music | Masti Close Aha Ad
Watch Latest Movies & Web Series on AHA!
Movies | Music | Music

Social media gives everyone a voice in the CSR debate at global conference - International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 9th General Assembly


Social media gives everyone a voice in the CSR debate at global conference


IAPB 9thGeneral Assembly – linking eye health, poverty and

development for an expert global audience.


Hyderabad, September 19th, 2012: Social media has, for the first time, given eye care professionals and others working in the area of vision care the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of international experts on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The panel answered the questions today (19th September) during the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 9th General Assembly, which is taking place in Hyderabad from 17-20 September 2012.  Hundreds of delegates from across India made up some of the 1,500 delegates from around the world who attended.


The use of social media ensured that the CSR panel of international business leaders focussed on what is important to eye care professionals and those involved in blindness prevention, around the world. It also gave those who were unable to attend the assembly, a chance to participate remotely.  The results of the discussion will be posted on Facebook (VISION 2020/IAPB) and Tweeted (@VISION2020_IAPB) following the session.


The panellistswho shared their extensive knowledge and experience of CSR included:Standard Chartered Bank representative, Karuna Bhatia, Head of Sustainability (India and South Asia); Claude Darnault, Chief Sustainability Officer at Essilor (France); Caroline Roan, Vice President for Corporate Responsibility / President of The Pfizer Foundation (USA); Alcon’s Strategic Markets Medical Director – Asia, Dr Hunter Cherwek (China) who was also Medical Director for ORBIS and so has worked on both sides of the equation; and a representative from TOMS (USA)and shared their experience with the One for OneTM campaign.


Today, multi-national and small businesses alike recognise the importance of CSR.  Not only can CSR breed customer loyalty and increase profits but the internal impact has been found to be invaluable in terms of recruitment, staff retention and staff motivation. 


Karuna Bhatia highlighted the success of ‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB), Standard Chartered Bank’s partnership with IAPB and other leading eye care NGOs.  SiB has raised US$50 million since 2003, half of which has been donated by Standard Chartered through its dollar-for-dollar matching initiative. With a range of programs in India and more than 28 million people being helped throughSiB projects worldwide, it has had a major impact both from a humanitarian perspective and from a business perspective.SiB won GBCHealth’s Community InvestmentAward in April this year.


With 80% of blindness avoidable, the Indian Government has significantly increased its blindness prevention efforts over recent years. The Indian National Programme for the Control of Blindness (NPCB) is facilitating 640 ophthalmologists from across India to attend the 9GA, where they will gain invaluable insights into the latest developments in blindness prevention from around the world. 


Phillip Albano, Manager, Sight Programs Department, Lions Clubs International Foundation and Coordinator of the CSR Panelcommented, “Whether it’s providing financial or in-kind support, CSR plays a critical role in national eye care systems. Less understood though is the considerations businesses take into account before entering into private/public partnerships. During the symposium, leaders in the field exploredthe theory and practice of CSR, highlighted key public/private partnerships and discussed ways in which the private sector, governments, NGOs and others might partner more effectively in the future.”


Following the theme, Eye Health: Everyone's Business, 9GA will play host to 150 of the world’s leading experts in global blindness prevention, cataract, refractive error, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, childhood blindness, corneal blindness and eye banking.


The CSR panel discussion is one of 40 courses, keynote lectures and symposia discussing new approaches and practical solutions to improving eye care designed to appeal to optometrists, ophthalmologists, public health specialists and other professionals involved in blindness prevention.  The 9GA will also examine progress towards the goal of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight (IAPB’s joint initiative with the World Health Organization for the elimination of avoidable blindness). In addition to the extensive program, delegates will have the opportunity to enjoy an impressive Trade Exhibition. 


To find out more about the Assembly please visit


We are delighted to recognise the Global Sponsors of the 9th General Assembly:

The Brien Holden Vision Institute believes in vision for everyone...everywhere. The Institute is a global multidisciplinary research, development, commercialisation, education and public health organisation, focused on developing breakthrough vision correction and eye care solutions that will improve the quality of vision people experience, prevent blindness and deliver equity in eye care access worldwide.


Mectizan Donation Program is the longest-running disease-specific drug donation programme and public/private partnership of its kind, MDP is widely regarded as one of the most successful public/private health collaborations in the world.


CBM is one of the leading international development agencies for people with disabilities, CBM supports services for persons with visual, hearing and physical impairment in more than 113 developing countries


Carl Zeiss, Optometry Giving Sight and Sight and Life are International Sponsors and supporters and ORBIS, Lions Club International Foundation,Appasamy Associates, Essilor and SightSavers are Regional Sponsors and supporters. While mivision is the Global Social Media Sponsor; Touch Ophthalmology and the Indian Optician are the event’s media partners and Kuoni Destination Management, India is the travel partner.



Notes to Editors:


About 9GA

·         Theme: Eye Health – Everyone’s Business

·         Conference dates: 17-20 September 2012

·         Venue: HICC, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India –

·         For more information on the 9GA please visit:


About IAPB General Assembly

IAPB General Assemblies are held every four years, rotating among IAPB’s seven world regions. The 8th General Assembly (8GA), held in 2008 saw close to 800 registrants from 60 countries attend keynote lectures, short presentations from invited speakers, clinical and administrative courses and symposia, over four days in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


About IAPB

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) was established in 1975 as a coordinating, umbrella organisation to lead international efforts in blindness prevention activities. Its first major achievement was to promote the establishment of a WHO programme for prevention of blindness, with which it has remained strongly linked, and which is now embodied in the global initiative, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.

For more information, please visit: and

Global Facts – please visit for latest statistics

·         An estimated 12 million people are blind and an additional 456 million require vision correction across India.

·         80% of all visual impairment is avoidable (i.e. can be prevented, treated or curedthrough known and cost-effective interventions)

·         About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision

·         90% of the world's visually impaired people live in developing countries

·         Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment but in middle and low-income countries cataracts remain the leading cause

·         The number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases has greatly reduced in the last 20 years.


For editorial enquiries, please contact Srinivasulu on 9848042170.

Updated on September 19, 2012