Our History


Founded by Dr. John Harry King Jr., a distinguished military ophthalmologist and corneal transplant pioneer, along with Dr. Thomas A. Dooley, a missionary South-East Asia, establish the International Eye Bank, an arm of CARE/Medico, the forerunner of the International Eye Foundation.

At the request of the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society, a team of three ophthalmic surgeons, Dr. King, Dr. John M. Mclean, and Dr. Charles E. Iliff went to the then British Crown Colony of Hong Kong in the Fall to perform 35 corneal transplant operations and help the Chinese ophthalmologist to organize an effective eye bank.

Doctor John Harry King in an operating room in Hong Kong


Congress passes the District of Columbia Tissue Bank Act to encourage and aid the development of reconstructive medicine and surgery, and the development of medico-surgical research by authorizing the licensing of tissue banks in the Districts of Columbia to facilitate antemortem and postmortem donations of human tissues for tissue bank purposes.

Dr. J.H. King receives a letter from White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger who served in the administrations of both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, noting the passage of the Act and including a pen used at the signing by the President. This Act gave Dr. King the ammunition to gain support to develop eye banks in Washington, DC.

JERUSALEM: Dr. David Paton is supported by grants from the International Eye Bank, later IEF, and the National Eye Institute at NIH to serve as Medical Director for one year at the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem where he introduced corneal transplant surgery. The young King Hussein himself officially opened the eye bank and saw first-hand how a corneal transplant can return sight to someone who would otherwise remain blind. King Hussein publicly signed a donor pledge card which went a long way to promoting cultural acceptability of donating corneas after death.

Doctor John Harry King Junior


GLOBAL: Dr. King organizes IEF’s I World Cornea Congress in Washington, DC bringing together corneal surgeons and eye bank professionals from around the world.

The International Eye Bank changes its name to the International Eye Foundation reflecting its broader focus on programs to prevent blindness and restore sight in developing countries.

ETHIOPIA & TUNISIA:  Dr. Pawlos Quana’a of Ethiopia and Dr. Ridha Mabrouk of Tunisia receive fellowships in the United States under the tutelage of Dr. John Harry King, Jr.  Dr. Pawlos and Dr. Mabrouk go on to establish ophthalmology training programs in their countries. Dr. Mabrouk founds Nadi Al Bassar, the North African Center for Sight, an NGO that provides eye care and training throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Historical image of the blind leading the blind


Pope Paul VI greets Dr. J.H. King and IEF’s Executive Director Jay Lawlor during a private audience at the Pope’s summer residence Castel Gandolfo.

Dr. J.H. King receives a Western Union Telegram from President Dwight D. Eisenhower thanking him for the invitation to join IEF’s lay Board and saluting IEF’s Board members for their dedication to “such a worthy humanitarian mission”.

Dr. King adopts the slogan “the promotion of peace through the prevention of blindness”.

PUERTO RICO:  IEF establishes the first Basic Science Course in Ophthalmology in Spanish at the University of Puerto Rico for Spanish-speaking ophthalmologists from throughout Latin America.

Dr. King establishes the IEF “Society of Eye Surgeons” with members who are luminaries from around the world and are dedicated to the prevention of blindness and restoration of sight.

Doctor David Patton and King Hussein in the nineteen sixties


The Department of State’s Agency for International Development presents a Commendation to the International Eye Foundation, Inc.

Dr. J.H. King receives a signed letter from President Richard Nixon congratulating him on IEF’s 10th anniversary.

Between the founding of the International Eye Bank in 1961 to 1971, 323 fellowships had been provided (170 from the US to other countries and 153 from other countries to the US), 43 visiting professors and surgeons and 21 teaching teams were supported, 2,012 fresh corneas and 4,034 preserved corneas have been provided to 55 countries, and 29 affiliate eye banks have been established in 29 countries.

BANGLADESH: Kathie Burkhard, COT, a Georgetown University trained Ophthalmic Technician establishes an ophthalmic nurse training program in the capital Dhaka.

EGYPT: IEF facilitates an exchange program 1971-1979 between US Navy ophthalmology residents training in San Diego and ophthalmologists in Egypt.

HAITI: 1970’s through the 1980’s, IEF coordinates a volunteer program rotating ophthalmologists from Yale and Georgetown Universities every three months to serve in eye clinics in Haiti.

Dr. Larry Schwab in Ethiopia with a patient


ETHIOPIA: Dr. Larry Schwab and Dr. Van Joffrion are posted to the Haile Selassie I Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Addis Ababa 1972-1976 to provide clinical care and training in collaboration with Dr. Pawlos Quana’a, Chief Ophthalmologist as the Menelik and Black Lion Hospitals in Addis Ababa. Together with an Italian ophthalmologist working in Asmara, the capital of the now independent country of Eritrea, these four were the only ophthalmologists in the entire country. Dr. Rogers Pierson replaced Dr. Schwab at the Haile Selassie I Hospital.

KENYA: Dr. Randolph Whitfield, Jr. is posted by IEF to serve as the Provincial Eye Surgeon with the Ministry of Health at the Central Province Hospital’s Eye Clinic in Nyeri from 1972 to 1984.

Doctor Randolph Whitfield in Kenya


GLOBAL: II World Congress of the IEF Society of Eye Surgeons is held in Athens, Greece bringing together distinguished ophthalmologists and researchers from around the world.

PHILIPPINES:  IEF sends Kathie Burkhard, COT to establish and conduct the first Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program preparing materials and a curriculum which became part of a comprehensive nurse training program by in the capital Manila.

GLOBAL:  III World Cornea Congress of the IEF Society of Eye Surgeons held in San Salvador, El Salvador bringing together cornea specialists and researchers from around the world.

ETHIOPIA:  Dr. Lawrence M. King, US Navy, establishes an eye unit with support from IEF at the Harar Hospital in the ancient walled city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia.

MALAWI:  IEF gives the first of many grants to Dr. Moses Chirambo, the first Malawian ophthalmologist, to support training activities which began IEF’s 25 years of blindness prevention programming in Malawi.

1974 Dr Randy Whitfield in Kenya mobile surgical.

1976 - 1984

KENYA: IEF establishes the “Kenya Rural Blindness Prevention Project” (KRBPP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and funded by USAID 1976-1984.

Phase I: 1976-1980:

  • Dr. Randolph Whitfield, IEF Country Director, Provincial Eye Surgeon-Ministry of Health, Nyeri, Central Province
  • Dr. Larry Schwab, IEF Deputy Country Director, Provincial Eye Surgeon-Ministry of Health, Nakuru, Rift Valley Province
  • Jack Swartwood, IEF Project Manager, Nairobi

Phase II: 1980-1984:

  • Dr. Randolph Whitfield, IEF Country Director, Provincial Eye Surgeon-Ministry of Health, Nyeri, Central Province
  • Dr. Paul G. Steinkuller, IEF Deputy Country Director, Provincial Eye Surgeon-Ministry of Health, Nakuru, Rift Valley Province
  • R. Douglass Arbuckle, Project Manager, Nairobi
  • Dennis Ross-Degnan followed by Dr. F.M. Mburu, Project Epidemiologists, Nairobi
  • Victoria M. Sheffield, Field Training Specialist, Nairobi

Eight blindness prevalence surveys are designed and led by Dennis Ross-Degnan and Dr. F.M. Mburu between 1976 and 1984 among the nine major tribes of Kenya (excluding Nairobi) constituting the first national blindness prevalence study in an African nation. V. Sheffield established primary eye care programs training hundreds of general physicians, nurses, and clinical officers in primary eye care and blindness prevention, and trained a Kenyan Ophthalmic Clinical Officer to replace her.

Dr. Whitfield recognized as a McArthur Foundation Fellow in 1982 receiving a MacArthur Genius Grant for his work to define the prevalence, causes, and distribution of visual loss among persons dwelling in rural Kenya, to provide eye care to rural dwellers by expanding existing mobile and community eye care facilities in the country, and to train African paramedics to perform eye surgery.

Dr. J.H. King, Jr. receives a signed letter from President Gerald R. Ford acknowledging IEF’s value and critical service to mankind.



INDIA:  Vitamin A Program established by IEF and international experts for US Peace Corps volunteers funded by USAID and conducted jointly at IEF Headquarters and at The Nutrition Rehabilitation Institute in Madurai, South India.

IRAN:  IEF establishes an ophthalmologist exchange program.  Dr. Frank S. Ashburn, Jr. was posted to Mashad from October to December 1997 but returned home early because of the revolution and capture of Americans at the US Embassy in Teheran.  The program was not continued.

1978 Sir John Wilson with JHK


IAPB:  At the founding meeting of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in Oxford, UK, IEF founder Dr. John Harry King, Jr. is appointed an “alternate” to Group F “Members at Large elected in recognition of the individual contribution which they can make to the work of the Agency”.

JORDAN:  IEF establishes the “New Jordan Eye Bank” at the Jordan University Hospital (JUH) in Amman.  The IEF team (Dr. Michael A. Lemp, Dr. Richard Forster, Nicole Todaro, Victoria M. Sheffield) performed 30 corneal transplants at the JUH and the King Hussein Medical Center, trained ophthalmic surgeons and nurses on the corneal transplantation procedure, and set up the Eye Bank which was officially opened by Their Majesties King Hussein and Queen Noor.

PUERTO RICO:  IEF supports the fledgling Ophthalmic Technician Training Program established at the University of Puerto Rico and directed by Milagros Colon de Lopez, RN which trains allied health professionals from all over Latin America.

Schwab Masaii


GLOBAL: IV World Congress of the IEF Society of Eye Surgeons is held in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was opened by Kenya’s President Daniel arap Moi and included IAPB’s founder Sir John Wilson and Lady Jean Wilson, and the distinguished US ophthalmologist Prof. Harold G. Scheie.

BELIZE: IEF supports Dr. Victoriano Valdez in Belize to train as an ophthalmologist in Guatemala and equipped his new eye clinic when he returned to Belize.

ETHIOPIA & MALAWI: Established the first Ophthalmic Assistant Training Programs at the Menelik Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi.

GHANA: IEF establishes a countrywide blindness prevention program in Ghana in collaboration with Prof. C.O. Quarcoopome and the Ministry of Health.

IVORY COAST: IEF establishes an eye care training program for health instructors from 20 nations.

ST. LUCIA: Dr. John Distler is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1981-1982

1980 Victoria Sheffield training in Kenya


MALAWI:  Dr. Larry Schwab is posted by IEF to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Ministry of Health in Blantyre 1982-1985. Dr. Teferra Tizazu is posted to the Kamuzu Central Hospital Eye Unit and Ministry of Health in Lilongwe 1982-1985.

ST. LUCIA:  Dr. Brad Shingleton is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1982-1983.


1982 Larry Schwab with President Banda in Malawi


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  Milagros Colon de Lopez, RN from Puerto Rico establishes a program supported to train all nurses in the country in primary eye care.  Training materials developed in Spanish are used throughout Latin America.

GUINEA:  Dr. Jean-Paul Heldt is posted to Conakry for two years to train local doctors in eye care and blindness prevention.

HONDURAS:  Dr. Larry King establishes the Magi Eye Clinic in San Pedro Sula with support from IEF’s William M. and Ramona N. Carrigan Endowment.  Tamara Gonzalez Oberbeck, RN, COT is posted by IEF to Honduras to teach primary eye care to health professionals.

ST. LUCIA:  Dr. Ben Baker is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1983-1984. Victoria Sheffield conducts a one-month training course on primary eye care on St. Lucia for 20 nurses from around the Caribbean.

1979 King Hussein Jordan Eye bank


GLOBAL:  V World Congress of the IEF Society of Eye Surgeons held in Cairo, Egypt bringing together distinguished international ophthalmologists and researchers from around the world.

MALAWI:  Dr. Paul G. Steinkuller is posted to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi 1984-1988.

ST. LUCIA:  Dr. Harry Pappas is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1984-1985.

1980 OMA school Ethiopia


WHO Geneva:  IEF is the first eye care NGO to be accepted into “official relations” with the World Health Organization (WHO), the health arm of the United Nations.

GRENADA:  Dr. May Khadem is posted by IEF to the General Hospital Eye Clinic in St. Georges 1985-1987. Funded by USAID, the project builds eye care services from the ground up including training an ophthalmologist from Grenada in collaboration with ophthalmologists from Barbados, establishes a school screening program, trains nurses to identify patients with cataract and glaucoma, initiates a micro-surgery program for the first time, and introduces intra-ocular lenses for surgery.  

MALAWI:  Dr. Baxter McLendon is posted by IEF to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Ministry of Health in Blantyre 1985-1988.

SAUDI ARABIA:  IEF designs and conducts the first major, countrywide blindness prevalence survey for the Kingdom in collaboration with local ophthalmologists Dr. Khaled Tabara and Dr. Akef El-Maghraby.  The two-year survey and results are used to plan public eye health strategies to target specific diseases, especially trachoma.

ST. LUCIA:  Dr. Roy Wilson is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1985-1986.

1985 WHO HQ Building Geneva


Dr. John Harry King, Jr. passes away at the age of 75.

GUATEMALA:  IEF establishes the first USAID funded Child Survival/Vitamin A Deficiency Control Program in Alta Verapaz.

HONDURAS:  IEF establishes the first USAID funded Child Survival/Vitamin A Deficiency Control Programs in the very rural, northern part of the country.  IEF successfully advocates for legislation that all children entering primary school should have their vision measured and trains first grade teachers how to measure vision.

MALAWI:  IEF establishes the first USAID funded Child Survival/Vitamin A Deficiency Control Program in Chikwawa District, southern Malawi.

ST. KITTS:  Dr. Susan Lewallen is posted to the Joseph Franz Hospital 1986-1987 supported by IEF’s William N. & Ramona N. Carrigan Endowment.

ST. LUCIA:  Dr. Jim Martone is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1986-1987.

ZIMBABWE:  Dr. Larry Schwab is posted by IEF to the Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Hospital and the Ministry of Health in Harare from 1986-1989.

1990 Dr. JH King, Jr. at IV World Congress, Nairobi with Sir John Wilson


ST. LUCIA:  Dr. J.P. Dailey is posted by IEF to the Victoria Hospital Eye Clinic in the capital Castries in the Caribbean 1987-1988.

GRENADA:  Dr. Baxter McLendon is posted to the General Hospital Eye Clinic in St. Georges 1988-1990.

MALAWI:  Dr. Uriel Sachs is posted by IEF to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Ministry of Health in Blantyre 1988-1995.

TURKS & CAICOS:  Dr. May Khadem is posted by IEF to Turks & Caicos 1988-1989 where there was no local ophthalmologist, to perform cataract surgery and train nurses to screen for eye disease.

GUATEMALA:  IEF establishes the first onchocerciasis control program for community-based Mectizan distribution in Yepocapa supported by USAID and the Lions Clubs International Foundation.  Guatemala was declared “Oncho Free” by WHO in 2016.

1987-1989 Training Nurses


GUATEMALA:  Dr. Baxter McLendon posted to Guatemala City to support rural eye care services provided by the Rodolfo Robles V. Eye & Ear Hospital 1990-1992.

HONDURAS:  A USAID grant enables IEF to support the San Felipe Hospital Eye Unit in the capital Tegucigalpa as well as four recently graduated ophthalmologists to establish eye clinics in underserved rural and peri-urban areas 1990-1995.

MALAWI:  Dr. Susan Lewallen and her husband Dr. Paul Courtright are posted by IEF to the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Ministry of Health in Blantyre, and to direct IEF’s child survival program in Nsanje District, southern Malawi 1990-1995.

NIGERIA:  IEF pioneers community-based Mectizan distribution program in collaboration with Africare to fight onchocerciasis, commonly known as “river blindness”.

Oncocercosis IEF jeep in Yepocapa in the early nineties


ALBANIA & BULGARIA:  IEF receives one of the first USAID grants for Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism to establish public health eye care programs in Bulgaria and Albania.

BULGARIA:  IEF’s Country Representative, Prof. Petja Vassileva, MD, MPH conducts the first community-based, random sample, blindness prevalence survey in collaboration with Prof. Sheila West and Dr. Richard Geiser of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University 1991-1992.  Results are presented at ARVO, published in scientific journals, and the data are extrapolated to the rest of Eastern and Central Europe by the WHO Programme for Prevention of Blindness. IEF facilitated the establishment of the first “international standard” Sofia Eye Bank in the capital Sofia.



CAMEROON:  IEF pioneers the first community-based Mectizan® distribution program in South Province.

CHILE:  A grant is provided by IEF to the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago to support and equip a new pediatric eye clinic with funds from IEF’s Carrigan Endowment.

ERITREA:  IEF establishes a USAID-funded Child Survival Program in North-East Province where infant mortality rates are high and immunization coverage is low following the disastrous 30-year civil war with Ethiopia.  Unfortunately, the program was closed because the Eritrean government asked all NGOs to leave the country. The program was transferred to Ethiopia in 1994.

MALAWI:  IEF establishes the first Mectizan distribution program to control onchocerciasis in the Thyolo Highlands.

Oncocercosis elderly couple in Yepocapa


IAPB:  IEF’s Victoria Sheffield is elected Chair of the IAPB Partnership Committee 1993-1999, the forerunner of the IAPB Council of Members.  The Partnership Committee met at WHO in Geneva each year and grew from 13 NGO members and 5 observers to 36 NGO members and approximately 40 observers during that time.

ETHIOPIA:  IEF transfers its USAID-funded Child Survival Program from Eritrea to the Debra Berhan area working in collaboration with Christian Children’s Fund.  

Young boy measured for dosage of Mectizan in Cameroon


GLOBAL:  IEF pioneers a small grants program called “Seeing 2000” supported by USAID’s Child Blindness Program.  Pediatric eye care programs in developing countries around the world were funded with the aim of helping children see through to the year 2000; given that blind children in developing countries often did not live to their fifth birthday.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:  An IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to the Hospital Elias Santana in Santo Domingo is used to procure new equipment for its pediatric eye clinic.

INDIA:  The All India Institute for Medical Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology in New Delhi receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to publish a book on Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), and train doctors to recognize and refer infants with ROP.  

INDIA:  The L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to equip a new pediatric operating room and to develop a Low Vision Training Centre.

INDIA:  The Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India receives IEF “Seeing 2000” grants to support outreach screening for children in rural areas, purchase the first $55,000 RetCam retinal fundus camera to screen and document infants for ROP at Aravind Coimbatore Eye Hospital, and to establish new and innovative “Vision Centres” where a trained ophthalmic assistant uses a computer and camera get real-time virtual consults with the nearby hospital improving access to quality eye care for 20,000-40,000 people each.  The Lions Aravind Institute for Community Ophthalmology in Madurai receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to strengthen its faculty, new Documentation Centre, and to establish the “e-resource” website to share knowledge and tools to the global community.

PAKISTAN:  IEF supports the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, the Al Shifa Eye Hospital in Islamabad, and the Layton-Rahmathullah Benevolent Trust in Karachi with “Seeing 2000” grants.  The program in Peshawar provided eye care services to thousands of Afghan children in nearby refugee camps.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA:  IEF “Seeing 2000” grants support the Mt. Sion Centre for the Blind in Goroka, and a new pediatric eye clinic in the capital Port Moresby.

SOUTH AFRICA:  The International Centre for Eye Health in London receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to undertake a Blind School Survey to gather baseline data for a blindness prevention training program.

ZIMBABWE:  An IEF “Seeing 2000” grant enables the Gwanda Provincial Hospital in the southern region to develop a pediatric eye clinic.

1995 Nsanje Magulugulu kids best


ERITREA:  Dr. Desbele Ghebreghiorgis, the first native Eritrean ophthalmologist, receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to support the pediatric eye unit at the Berhan Eye Hospital in the capital Asmara.

PERU:  Dr. Luz Gordillo, one of a very few pediatric ophthalmologists caring for babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) receives an IEF “Seeing 2000” grant to train pediatric ophthalmologists to recognize and treat ROP, develop a public education program and training materials in Spanish focusing on pregnant women and young mothers, and become a leading consultant in the field of ROP throughout Latin America.

1996 Nepal


GLOBAL:  IEF reorients its programming to the sustainability of eye hospitals in developing countries focusing on management, standards & protocols, quality of services and clinical care, increasing revenue, reducing costs, and organizational sustainability.

MOZAMBIQUE:  With support from Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, IEF conducts a training program to update Mozambique’s 28 Ophthalmic Assistants on the new diagnostic and treatment methodologies to control trachoma.

1997 Ethiopia


BOLIVIA:  IEF establishes a USAID funded Child Survival Program in Santa Cruz.

GLOBAL:  IEF’s flagship SightReach® Management Program is established to assist eye hospitals and clinics to improve management, quality of services, and financial and organizational sustainability.  By 2018, 61 eye hospitals and clinics in 22 countries have received IEF investments and technical assistance.

GLOBAL:  SightReach Surgical® is established as the first non-profit platform to address the lack of access and affordability of new ophthalmic instruments, equipment, and supplies in developing countries.

WHO/GLOBAL:  IEF co-sponsors a WHO/IAPB Scientific Meeting titled “Prevention blindness in children” held at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India.  The report of the meeting is WHO/PBL/00.77

Vit A project in Ichilo Province in Bolivia 1999


GLOBAL:  A USAID grant supports SightReach® Management to assist its first seven eye hospitals in six countries in Africa, India, Latin America, and the Middle East.  

EGYPT:  IEF provides technical assistance to develop the management and financial sustainability plan for the charity side of the new Magrabi Eye Hospital in Cairo which includes establishing a wet-lab to train eye surgeons in microsurgical techniques.

GUATEMALA:  IEF supports Visualiza in Guatemala City, one of the first seven eye hospitals to adopt IEF’s sustainability model.  IEF transforms Visualiza from a small, 2-room strictly private eye clinic in a shopping mall moving it to a house that is built out as an eye hospital with a charity side, a private side, and its own operating theatre.  In 2005, Visualiza becomes an “IEF Regional Training Center”. Visualiza moves again in 2007 to create a large, 2-story eye hospital and supports IEF to mentor other eye hospitals in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

MALAWI:  IEF establishes optical shops at the Lions SightFirst Eye Hospital in Lilongwe and the Blantyre Lions Eye Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, and provides technical assistance and funding to introduce plans that create efficiencies to reduce dependence on government funds and donations.

TANZANIA:  Dr. Susan Lewallen and Dr. Paul Courtright who established the new Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology in Moshi join IEF’s SightReach® Management sustainability network receiving a grant to help streamline the medical records system at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre on the same campus.

Doctor M. Yee in Visualiz, Guatemala, 2000


EL SALVADOR:  Dr. Juan Miguel POSADA Fratti joins IEF’s SightReach® Management network.  IEF supports Dr. Posada’s main clinic in San Salvador to adopt its sustainability model and builds a satellite eye clinic in La Union.

INDIA:  The Aravind Eye Care System presents IEF with an award commemorating Aravind’s 25th anniversary and thanking IEF for its long-standing support of its services to humanity.

2001 Mendouga Vision 2020 press conference


GHANA:  Dr. Patrick Kwaw-Quaidoo and the eye unit at the Ridge Hospital in Accra is provided funding and technical assistance to adopt IEF’s sustainability model and reconstruct the eye clinic to make it more efficient.

EGYPT:  With support from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, IEF establishes a “Management Training Course” at the Magrabi Eye Hospital in Cairo for teams from other eye units throughout Egypt. 

MEXICO:  The Instituto de la Vision at the University of Montemorelos, Nueva Leon State and its satellite clinic at Villahermosa in Tabasco State join IEF’s SightReach® Management sustainability network.  IV trains ophthalmology residents from all over Latin America and Africa and has satellite eye clinics throughout Mexico.

PARAGUAY:  Fundacion Vision (FV) in the capital Asuncion joins IEF’s SightReach® Management sustainability network.  Dr. Rainald Duerksen, head of FV, receives a grant to help create efficiencies at the new, recently built eye hospital.

2005 Dr. Patrick Kwaw-Quaidoo, Ghana


USA:  VISION2020/USA is established during a meeting at the “Stone House” at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. IEF is a founding member of VISION2020/USA, a group of US-based NGOs working domestically and internationally and dedicated to the prevention of blindness, restoration of sight, and services for the visually impaired.  IEF’s Victoria Sheffield is elected Vice Chair of the VISION2020/USA Executive Committee.

Vision 20 20 USA founded in 2009



IEF celebrates its 50th anniversary.  Congressman Chris Van Hollen presents a statement published in the Congressional Record discussing IEF’s history and achievements.  Proceedings and Debates of the 112th Congress, First Session, Vol. 157, No. 57, Pg. E777-E778, Washington, Monday, May 2, 2011.

Congressman Chris Von Hollen, later Senator, presents a citation “for 50 years of innovative leadership in eye care throughout the developing world”.

Governor Martin O’Malley, State of Maryland, presents a citation celebrating IEF’s 50th anniversary.

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland sends a letter of congratulations on IEF’s 50th Anniversary.

2011 IEF 50th-Van Hollen's office Congressional Record


NICARAGUA:  “Clinica Oftalmologica Ojo Sano” in Managua, a social enterprise eye clinic built by IEF, Vision for the Poor, and partners, officially opens in August.

CENTRAL AMERICA:  The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) supports IEF to provide technical assistance to government eye units in five countries in Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras) and the Caribbean (Jamaica and Panama).

GLOBAL:  IEF selected as the Technical Advisory Group for the USAID Child Blindness Program contract 2013-2018.

HAITI:  “Clinique Vision Plus”, a Haitian owned and Haitian run (Dr. Guerline Roney, Dr. Marie Carmelle Lucien and Dr. Pierre DuPuy) social enterprise eye hospital in Cap Haitien built by IEF, Vision for the Poor, Visualiza and partners officially opens in May.

IEF is named “Charity of the Week” by The Week magazine on May 22, 2014 recognizing achievements in improving and expanding eye care in the developing world.

IEF congratulates Dr. William E. Campbell who was named the 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine jointly with Dr. ®Satoshi Omura of Japan, honored for their discovery of ivermectin (Mectizan) to control onchocerciasis.




IAPB:  The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) honors IEF with its “Collaboration Award” at its 10th General Assembly in Durban, South Africa.

WHO Geneva:  IEF’s President & CEO invited to WHO in Geneva as a technical expert to help develop the WHO’s sentinel “World Report on Vision” to be launched in 2018.

Victoria M. Sheffield is elected Vice President of IAPB 2016-2020.

2016 IAPB Collab Award


IAPB-ROTARY INTERNATIONAL:  Wearing her IAPB Vice President’s hat, Victoria Sheffield signs the Memorandum of Understanding with Rotary International’s (RI) Secretary General John Hewko at RI headquarters in Evanston, IL.  The IAPB/RI Service Partnership is one of only five Rotary Service Partnerships in the world and aims to bring together IAPB member agencies and Rotary Clubs to jointly design, fund and implement eye care programs around the world.

2017 Victoria Sheffield and J. Hewko sign IAPB initiative


GLOBAL:  IEF selected as the Technical Advisory Group for the USAID Child Blindness Program contract 2018-2023.

INDIA:  The new Rotary Shroff Eye Centre, the first joint pilot project between an IAPB member (IEF) and a Rotary Club, opens in Karol Bagh, a densely populated section of old Delhi to bring eye care closer to the community.

PERU:  IEF embarks on a three-year program supporting government sector eye care services at two tertiary eye hospitals and five secondary eye units in collaboration with PAHO.

USA:  IEF’s Pooja Doshi is named Vice Chair of VISION2020/USA.