OUR MISSION

 OUR MISSION IS A WORLD 

 WHERE NOBODY IS BLIND 

 BECAUSE THEY CANNOT 

 AFFORD TREATMENT 

OUR MISSION

Visual impairment is a public health problem of global proportions.  More than 285,000,000 people worldwide have some form of visual impairment.  39,000,000 of them are blind.  90% of those affected by blindness and severe visual impairment live in the poorest countries in the world.  14,000,000 of them live in India alone. 

 

Yet a good proportion of worldwide blindness, including 75% of corneal disease, is curable.  It has been the longstanding mission of Tej Kohli to close the treatment gap which leads to corneal blindness by expanding knowledge about prevention, making direct treatment interventions and advancing medical and scientific innovations.  Ending corneal blindness will also require an end to the poverty and inequality which lie at its root.

Worldwide corneal blindness is an under-reported cause of avoidable visual impairment, especially in poor and developing countries. The World Health Organisation estimates that corneal opacities account for 7% of the world’s blind population, making it the 3rd most common cause of blindness. 
 

Pervasive treatments gaps within poorer countries restrict access to treatment information and preventative medicine.  The treatment gap within these underserved communities also means that an eye which becomes blind from scarring and vascularisation of the cornea usually remains blind for life.

Although cataracts and glaucoma are more common causes of visual impairment because of their prevalence amongst the elderly, corneal blindness in more unique in its ability to affect all age groups and is a leading cause of irreversible visual impairment. 

 

Corneal opacification is the 3rd most common cause of childhood blindness worldwide, after non-corneal causes such as congenital cataract and glaucoma.  Corneal blindness in childhood is often due to a single avoidable episode of infection. 

 

Blind children have a lifetime of increased morbidity ahead of them. That lifetime can also be very short, with up to 60% of blind children dying within one year of becoming blind.

 

The broader challenge is that the current tools for the prevention, treatment and cure of corneal blindness cannot be adequately deployed  in the poorest countries where blindness is the most pervasive.  Current solutions are not simply not widely accessible or affordable and cannot be scaled to reach all of those who are in need.

 

Our mission is a world where nobody is blind because they cannot afford or access treatment.  Following the 'Rebuilding You' precepts of the Tej Kohli Foundation, we are making direct treatment interventions to cure and alleviate blindness whilst simultaneously funding and supporting the development of sustainable long-term solutions that are accessible, affordable and scalable. 

THE HARD TRUTH

90%

OF BLINDNESS IS IN POOR COUNTRIES

75%

OF CORNEAL DISEASE IS CURABLE

<1.5%

WILL RECIEVE A CORNEAL TRANSPLANT

Corneal transplants can cure up to 75% of corneal blindness, but worldwide less than 1 in 70 will receive a corneal transplant each year, because cornea donors are scarce and corneal transplantation surgery is expensive. 

 

None of the current treatments that rely on invasive surgery can be adequately deployed into poor and remote communities. 

 

Therefore to eliminate corneal blindness will require new and novel innovations that are affordable, accessible and scalable within the world's poorest communities.

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The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute is the biggest stream of activity of the not-for-profit Tej Kohli Foundation, where projects such as the Tej Kohli Cornea Program are also creating new possibilities for interdisciplinary innovations and cures to support our mission: