About Eye Care Foundation

Eye Care Foundation was born out of the need to help provide and establish good and affordable eye care in developing countries while being based in the Netherlands.

Initially this happened mainly through sending out ophthalmic teams. The support has shifted to aiding local capacity by facilitating training, improving the infrastructure by building eye clinics and donating ophthalmic equipment. We are working towards sustainable eye care. The support of the Eye Care Foundation is focused on the poorest for whom good medical care is inaccessible or unaffordable. The Eye Care Foundation has projects in the Himalayan region (Nepal), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos) and Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia).

The support we provide is most successful when networks of Eye Centres are set up in the regions with well-trained local staff, volunteers, high quality equipment, and good housing. The goal is to strengthen those networks with our project support. Over time, the networks should be able to support themselves financially and acquire the expertise to work independently. It is fundamental to integrate locally to ensure continuity and quality.

The partners receive general support and medical management from the Netherlands and through our field offices in Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia. With our support, our local partners are becoming increasingly independent in organizing and implementing the necessary eye care.


Eye Care Foundation was founded when Eyecare Worldwide and Mekong Eye Doctors joined forces in 2008. The two organizations shared the same objectives and working together as the current foundation has proved to be more efficient and effective.

Eyecare Worldwide (1984) was founded by a Dutch ophthalmologist who was moved by the plight of the high number of people who suffered from blindness that could be cured or even prevented. Mekong Eye Doctors (1993) was founded by a Dutch biochemist after he had been in Thailand to conduct eye research.

1. Direct services
2. Capacity increase and cultivation of expertise
3. Infrastructure
4. Research
5. Advocacy and education (raising awareness)

We examine the eyes of adults and (school)children and provide basic eye care, with special emphasis on cataract surgery, providing prescription glasses and performing relatively simple (surgical) procedures.

We help set up eye care infrastructures; directly through giving financial support to the construction of eye care facilities and the acquisition of instruments and indirectly by convincing politicians and policy makers of the necessity of including quality eye care in health care policies and the health care system.
In addition, we train eye care professionals of various levels, train teachers and local health workers to detect eye problems in their early stages among both children and adults and to know when and where to refer them for further treatments.

We carry out population surveys to determine the scale of eye problems and to identify obstacles that prevent people from making use of eye care services.

We demonstrate through research that quality eye care is life-changing.

We also (indirectly) contribute to the socio-economic development of the countries in which we are active. We work for people with low income for whom eye care is inaccessible.

We conduct our activities in Asia (Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos) and Africa (Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda) in collaboration with local partners within the parameters of the local/national eye care policy.

Tanzania education

Eyehospital and app

Eyecamp Nepal

Vision2020 & IAPB

Eye Care Foundation is a part of the VISION 2020 initiative. ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’ is the name of the global initiative to combat avoidable blindness and visual impairment. This initiative was launched in 1999 by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), an alliance of more than 20 international non-governmental organizations with an international coalition of professional organizations, occupational groups, eye hospitals, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and companies.

The aim of this initiative is to eliminate all cases of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by the year 2020, because everyone has a right to good vision (source: VISION 2020 Netherlands).The  Eye Care Foundation  has been  an official member of the IAPB since 2015.

Global actionplan 2014-2019 download (PDF, 436 Kb)

Avoid unnecessary blindness.
Give people a chance at a better life.

The Eye Care Foundation helps prevent and cure avoidable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries. Eighty percent of patients with blindness can be easily cured by cataract surgery and many visually impaired people have been helped by good prescription glasses. The solution may be simple, but it is impossible without your help as a donor.