Bank pledges US$3m to fight blindness


STANDARD Chartered Bank has committed US$3 million to tackle avoidable blindness in Zambia through its Seeing is believing’’ programme in Zambia.

The announcement follows the commemoration of the World Sight Day last week.

The bank’s head of corporate affairs, brand and marketing, Christine Matambo, said the programme launched in 2009, funded free eye screening, cataract surgeries and free spectacles, amongst others.

Ms Matambo explained that the programme was implemented in disadvantaged communities across rural and urban areas.

She said the areas included Lusaka, North Western, Southern, Eastern and Muchinga provinces through the bank’s partnership with Orbis, Sightsavers and Operation Eyesight Universal.

“Seeing is Believing funds free eye screening, cataract surgeries and free spectacles, amongst others. As we celebrate 110 years of operating in Zambia, Seeing is Believing demonstrates our brand promise to be ‘Here for communities, here for good’,” she said.

During the World Sight Day last week, Standard Chartered facilitated eye screening for over 1,200 Chawama, Matero, Chipata and Mandevu residents.

A new eye clinic funded by the bank would be opened soon in Chawama so that residents do not have to travel far to receive eye care.

According to the bank, two new partnerships were signed this year with Sightsavers and Operation Eyesight Universal, which will widen access to free eye healthcare across Zambia.

The bank this year would be celebrating 110 years of operating in the country, making it the oldest banking institution in Zambia.

Standard Chartered was recently named ‘‘Best Bank in Zambia’’ by two prestigious awarding bodies – Global Finance (2016) and by the EMEA African Banking Awards (2016).