The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute awards annual grants to United Kingdom based technological and scientific projects that can help to end corneal blindness. Corneal blindness is one of the most pervasive forms of poverty blindness and we aim to provide ongoing support to projects that have a clear path toward alleviating corneal blindness in poor communities.
The first project to receive seed funding is focusing on preventing corneal endothelial cell loss, which is usually permanent and is the leading reason for corneal transplantation worldwide. The second project will use novel drugs released by contact lenses to treat ocular surface pain and overcome the need for opioids when treating severe eye pain, which remains one of the unmet needs in Ophthalmology.
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THE HARD TRUTH
OF BLINDNESS IS IN POOR COUNTRIES
OF CORNEAL DISEASE IS CURABLE
WILL RECIEVE A CORNEAL TRANSPLANT
More than 285m people worldwide have some form of visual impairment. 39m of them are blind. 90% of those affected by blindness and severe visual impairment live in the poorest countries in the world.
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.