CBM is an international Christian development organization, committed to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities in low-income regions of the world.
Through its alliance, strategic and implementation partners, CBM works in 89 of the world's poorest countries, reaching almost 24 million people. CBM cooperates with Ministries of Health, UN agencies, global organizations, disabled people’s organizations and communities. Specifically, CBM is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations and is a member of the International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) and the World Blind Union (WBU).
Partnership and capacity building are central to CBM’s work. Professional experts transfer their management and professional skills, adding value to the financial and material resources provided to partners in the development of high quality and sustainable programs.
Trachoma is a major cause of avoidable blindness, addressed both, through VISION 2020 and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programs. It is most common in the poorest areas of the world characterized by lack of water, lack of sanitation, excess flies, lack of health/eye care service, poverty and isolation.
CBM supports a comprehensive SAFE strategy with expertise in trichiasis surgery and antibiotics distribution.
CBM is mainly active in Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, Tanzania, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kenya, China, Cameroon, and Nigeria. In 2009 CBM supported 38,677 surgeries for trichiasis and 530,590 treatments with antibiotics for active trachoma (102,563 persons treated with tetracycline eye ointment and 428,927 with azythromycin; total expenditure over $9 million USD).
CBM is also involved in water and sanitation programs, working in partnership with other organizations. CBM’s strategies are:
- To identify districts and communities in which blindness from trachoma is common. These areas are often remote and very needy.
- To provide eyelid surgery for all patients with trichiasis in these communities.
- To train trichiasis surgeons; this may involve training and equipping paramedics, nurses, eye assistants or doctors to perform trichiasis surgery in the villages.
- To improve the quality of eyelid surgery.
- To encourage early uptake of surgery to reduce recurrence.
- To treat children and adults with active trachoma infection using azithromycin (when indicated and available) or tetracycline eye ointment.
- To encourage regular daily face washing of all children.
- To improve village water supply and sanitation in partnership with governments and other organizations.
- To develop model programs for the implementation of the SAFE strategy including innovative community approaches.
NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES
CBM’s work focuses on a continuum of care from prevention, through treatment to rehabilitation. Though diverse in terms of causes and effects, NTDs frequently affect the poorest communities causing chronic disability, impairing childhood growth and mental development and hindering economic growth.
In addition to trachoma, CBM has extensive experience in onchocerciasis and comprehensive NTD control programs:
Onchocerciasis: CBM is a founding organization of the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC). Since 1991 CBM has supported the annual treatment with Ivermectin now using community directed implementation (CDI). CBM is mainly active in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Burundi, Central African Republic, and Nigeria.
NTD programs: Building on early experience from Kasai Provinces in DRC, CBM has been assisting as lead partner in the implementation of a comprehensive NTD control program in Burundi since 2007.
CBM is a founding organization of VISION 2020: a global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. Members of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) developed a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to form a Global Alliance of like-minded organizations working together to give all people in the world, particularly the millions of needlessly blind, “the right to sight.”
CBM mandates related to the elimination of blinding trachoma are Community Based Rehabilitation and education programs.