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India's Aravind Eye Care System gets Hilton Prize

[ 2010-04-20 11:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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India's Aravind Eye Care System gets Hilton Prize

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

An eye care organization in India is being honored for its efforts. On Tuesday, Aravind Eye Care System will receive the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. The award will be presented in Redwood City, California, during a conference of the Global Philanthropy Forum.

Conrad Hilton, who made his wealth in the hotel industry, established the humanitarian prize in 1996. Each year the award is given to a charitable or nongovernmental organization working to end human suffering. The prize includes one and a half million dollars.

Aravind Eye Care System is being recognized for its work with millions of people in India.

Retired eye surgeon Govindappa Venkataswamy established the organization in 1976. He wanted to make high quality eye care available to all, especially India's poor. He wanted to prevent needless cases of blindness.

Eight out of ten people with vision problems live in developing countries. The World Health Organization says 85 percent of all vision problems could be prevented or cured. That includes 75 percent of all blindness.

An estimated 45 million people are blind, and India is home to ten million of them.

Doctor Venkataswamy established the first Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, in Tamil Nadu state, with only 11 beds. Today Aravind Eye Care System is the largest eye care provider in the world. It operates five hospitals and more than 30 eye care centers across India.

About 70 percent of the patients receive free care. The money comes from the 30 percent of patients who can pay for their services.

In 1992, Aravind established what was described as Asia's first training center for the prevention of blindness. Support from the SightFirst program of Lions Club International financed the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology.

Also, the Aravind Medical Research Foundation investigates the causes and treatment of eye disease.

Aravind Eye Care System has been recognized internationally. Its work has been used as a model for establishing similar programs around the world.

And that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by June Simms. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs can be found at voaspecialenglish.com. You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember.

ophthalmology: the scientific study of the eye and its diseases 眼科学

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(来源:VOA 编辑:陈丹妮)