CBM has directly supported people with disabilities, their families and communities to respond to the pandemic. We also generated evidence to illustrate the experience of the pandemic on people with disabilities; evidence empowers partners to advocate to their governments. And governments themselves made changes to include people with disabilities in COVID-19 responses.
Our eye-health partners joined their governments’ priority to address COVID-19, so that hospital services moved to focus on COVID-19, reducing eye-care services. Despite this, our partners at the time in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Nigeria, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Nepal responded to unique challenges including rotating medical teams, ensuring that emergency eye care and critical surgery were available once COVID-safe practices were in place. A number of partners worked with OPDs to ensure critical care packages (hygiene and food) were available to people with disabilities.