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Media Release

Alcon Foundation Provides Access to Eye Care Across the Globe on World Sight Day


FORT WORTH, Texas, Oct. 11, 2018 —Fort Worth-based Alcon Foundation advocates for eye health both nationally and internationally, through its grants and numerous charity partnerships. In 2018, cash and product donations will total more than $50 million, which will increase access to eye care around the world on World Sight Day on Oct. 11, and throughout the year.  

According to the World Health Organization, more than 253 million people are estimated to be visually impaired, and 80 percent of those cases can be treated, prevented or cured. Many eye conditions and diseases may not have obvious signs and symptoms – making it critical that people have comprehensive eye examinations with eye care professionals for early detection on a routine basis.

In the month of October alone, Alcon, via Alcon Cares medical missions program, is donating more than $5 million in products that will be used to perform more than 4,000 sight-restoring cataract surgeries. The volunteer partners participating in the 48 missions will treat patients and also train eye care professionals in underserved communities throughout the world. Each year, Alcon supports an estimated 600 medical missions. 

One of Alcon’s long-time partners is Orbis, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Alcon is proud to support Orbis’ current Flying Eye Hospital program in Ethiopia.  Working with local hospitals and expert volunteers, Orbis has invited 157 trainee doctors to the Flying Eye Hospital to help improve the skills of local eye care teams and increase capacity for eye care services.  Plus, hundreds of other doctors around the world will have the opportunity to observe the surgeries and lectures through Cybersight, Orbis’s telemedicine platform.

In addition, Alcon, via Alcon Foundation and Alcon Cares, is a supporter of Mercy Ships, a hospital ship that provides free lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent. During the current field service in Guinea, Mercy Ships will provide approximately 1,000 surgeries to correct vision-impairing conditions, including cataract and pterygium. They will also evaluate and treat 2,000 to 3,000 patients for basic eye diseases. To help increase the capacity of their services, Alcon has donated cash and products to Mercy Ships toward the completion of the new hospital ship, which is currently under construction. The additional ship will more than double the impact of Mercy Ships in the nations they serve.

“For more than 50 years, Alcon has engaged in meaningful partnerships with organizations like Orbis and Mercy Ships to help the numerous communities needing eye health education and services,” said Melissa Thompson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Alcon and President of the Alcon Foundation. “We are proud to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families across the globe, by providing access to advanced eye health technology and expertise.”

To round out their leadership for World Sight Day and assist those individuals in their community, Alcon Foundation is offering free eye health screenings to guests at the State Fair of Texas and anticipates providing more than 350 screenings throughout the day.

The Alcon Foundation has created a dedicated website to provide resources to achieve your best eye health and take care of your eyes, including information on how the eye works, checklists for every age, and when to see an eye care professional.

For more information visit www.eyecareforeveryone.com.

Alcon Foundation 
For more than 50 years, Alcon has partnered with non-profit organizations that help advance eye health, skills transfer, education and access to quality eye care around the world. The Alcon Foundation awards grants to qualified, U.S.-based tax-exempt public 501(c)(3) charities that provide high-quality programs, training and community services with well-defined goals to enhance sight and improve the lives of people who otherwise would not have access to proper eye care. For more information, visit https://www.alcon.com/about-us/corporate-responsibility/eye-care-everyone.

About Alcon

Alcon is the global leader in eye care. Alcon’s mission is to provide innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people see better. As a division of Novartis, Alcon offers the widest spectrum of products in eye care. Alcon products touch the lives of more than 260 million people each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors, and there are millions more who are waiting for solutions to meet their eye care needs. Alcon has done this successfully for more than 70 years, through innovative products, partnerships with eye care professionals and programs that create greater access to quality eye care. 

Alcon Media Relations

Alison Fichter
Phone: 312.635.8200
Mobile: 312.662.2736
Email: [email protected]