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Allergan, Sightsavers and the IAPB Announce the ‘Keep Sight’ Initiative to Address Glaucoma in Ganjam, Odisha

Feb 25, 2020 17:31 IST 
Ganjam, Odisha, India
  • A unique initiative which joins an innovative eyecare biopharma leader with international charities to train healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat patients with glaucoma

  • Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness worldwide1 and with adequate screening and diagnosis, vision loss can be prevented


Allergan, Sightsavers and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) today announced the launch of its unique joint initiative - ‘Keep Sight India – a community based glaucoma screening progamme to prevent glaucoma-related vision loss in Ganjam District, Odisha. The pilot kicked off in October 2019 in partnership with Sightsavers local partner, Sankara Eye Hospital.


The progamme provides training for healthcare professionals to screen at-risk populations, ensure early and accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment and long-term care in an effort to make a positive impact on people with glaucoma at all levels of comprehensive eye care.


The first outreach camp was organised on December 3rd, 2019 on World Disability Day and subsequently four outreach camps were conducted under the pilot project. The outreach camps included services like vision testing, refraction, IOP measurement, fundus photography, spectacle dispensing, cataract identification, referral services and counselling services. To date 8276 people have been screened for glaucoma in these four outreach camps, from which 749 glaucoma suspects were identified and referred to the base hospital.2


Sightsavers India CEO, RN Mohanty said, “We are excited to be partnering with Allergan, an organisation with a long legacy in eyecare. Sightsavers too like Allergan is committed in finding and providing effective solutions for patients suffering with glaucoma, which is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. The typical barriers we face on ground include inadequate human resources, a lack of awareness and limited access to medical treatments. The partnership between Sightsavers and Allergan is an example of the vital associations that are needed to fight avoidable blindness and deliver better services at the community level.”


Dr. SY Quraishi, Honorary Chairman Sightsavers India Board and former Chief Election Commissioner, India said, “Nearly 75% of sight loss can be cured or prevented, so it’s an area where initiatives like this can have a strong impact where it is needed the most. I’m happy to know that people in and around Ganjam will become aware about Glaucoma and take adequate corrective measures which are now accessible via eye screening camps in the community and services at the Sankara Eye Hospital, Samarjhola.


India will play a crucial role in meeting WHO’s targets for eye health,” said Joanna Conlon, Director of Development and Communications, IAPB. “The country is already at the forefront of delivering people - centered solutions for eye care. Keep Sight will work with Indian partners to support and extend India’s successes around eye health and glaucoma. IAPB is committed to universal eye health. Sightsavers has decades of experience in delivering eye health in the region. Together with Allergan, they are keen to make a real difference for people with Glaucoma. Together, we will work to support India’s eye care strategies.


Allergan is honoured to partner with Sightsavers and IAPB on ‘Keep Sight’; their wealth of knowledge and expertise, combined with our passion for science and solutions will have a real impact on our shared goal of reducing the high burden of irreversible blindness in the country. For almost two decades Allergan has been committed to developing novel approaches to preserve visual function and prevent blindness caused by glaucoma. ‘Keep Sight’ is an initiative that will make a real difference to people with glaucoma in India,” said Gopinath Kesavan, Associate Director, Eyecare, Allergan India


Keep Sight India Project Update

The outputs of the programme achieved up until January 2020 are detailed below. The outputs include numbers from both outreach and hospital interventions.2




Achieved to date (Oct 2019 – Jan



Number of persons screened for glaucoma




Number of persons referred for glaucoma diagnosis




Number of persons identified with glaucoma




Number of cases of glaucoma treated with medication




Number of glaucoma cases treated with surgery (including

Yag PI)




Number of cases identified for low vision and rehabilitation




Ophthalmologists trained on basic glaucoma protocols




Optometrists trained on basic glaucoma protocols




Health workers trained on basic glaucoma protocols





Plan for next Quarter (Jan-Mar 2020)

The next quarter of the project will focus primarily on the following activities:

  • Training of Ophthalmologists on glaucoma care/management through International Council of Ophthalmology

  • Strengthening interventions for follow-up compliance of patients diagnosed with glaucoma or treated under the programme

  • Strengthening outreach interventions in terms of reducing per patient time in camps

  • Continuous learning, training and skilling of the project team

  • Development and dissemination of project communication materials in local language


About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness and a leading cause of irreversible blindness in India with at least 12 million people affected1 and nearly 1.2 million people blind from the disease.1 More than 90 percent of cases of glaucoma remain undiagnosed in the community.1 Glaucoma prevalence increases with age.1 Several studies conducted in India reveal that the estimated prevalence of glaucoma varies from 1.7% to 3.5% in people above 40 years of age, and the differences are largely because of the regional and methodological variations.3 It is estimated at 11.2 million people for the age group 40 plus which is quite high.4


About Sightsavers

Sightsavers is an international organisation that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities. It is a registered UK charity (Registered charity numbers 207544 and SC038110)


Worldwide, 36 million people are blind, but 75 per cent of this sight loss can be treated or prevented.5 In the six decades since its foundation, Sightsavers has:

  • Supported over 1.1 billion treatments for neglected tropical diseases6

  • Carried out over 10.2 million operations to restore sight6

  • Trained more than 795,427 primary eye care workers6

  • Carried out rehabilitation training for 225,954 blind or low vision beneficiaries6

  • Supported 62,908 blind or low vision children to gain a school education6


About the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is the coordinating membership organisation leading international efforts in blindness prevention activities. IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non- governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes.


For more information, please visit:


About Allergan plc

Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a global pharmaceutical leader focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceutical, device, biologic, surgical and regenerative medicine products for patients around the world. Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products primarily focused on four key therapeutic areas including medical aesthetics, eye care, central nervous system and gastroenterology. As part of its approach to delivering innovation for better patient care, Allergan has built one of the broadest pharmaceutical and device research and development pipelines in the industry.



2 Taken from output statistics in Keep Sight monthly reports. Further details available from Sightsavers’ Media team

3 Saxena R, Singh D, Vashist P. Glaucoma: An emerging peril. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Feb 19];38:135-7. Available from:

4 George R, Ve RS, Vijaya L. Glaucoma in India: estimated burden of disease. J Glaucoma. 2010 Aug;19(6):391-7. doi: 10.1097/IJG.0b013e3181c4ac5b.

5 Accessed February 2020

6 Taken from output statistics in Sightsavers’ annual reports, aggregated since the founding of the charity. Further details available from Sightsavers’ Media team


With colleagues and commercial operations located in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.


For more information, please visit Allergan’s website at


Forward-Looking Statement

Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan’s current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan’s current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan’s business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan’s products; the impact of uncertainty around timing of generic entry related to key products, including RESTASIS®, on our financial results; risks associated with divestitures, acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures; risks related to impairments; uncertainty associated with financial projections, projected cost reductions, projected debt reduction, projected synergies, restructurings, increased costs, and adverse tax consequences; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan’s periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and Allergan's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2019. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

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