HRH’s visit to India – Day 3 Mumbai

The Countess of Wessex has started her 3rd day of visit to India at the permanent 26/11 memorial at the iconic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower lobby. The memorial has the names of the thirty one fallen inscribed as a permanent homage to those brave and innocent people.

photo shared by Crispin Simon (@CrispinSimon) via Twitter

The 2008 Mumbai attacks (also referred to as 26/11) were a group of terrorist attacks that took place in November 2008, when 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out a series of 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks lasting four days across Mumbai.

photo shared by Crispin Simon (@CrispinSimon) via Twitter

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel was specifically chosen by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terror group who attacked multiple targets, for an attack so that it will be “striking a blow against a symbol of Indian wealth and progress”. The Countess laid a wreath with personal message at the Memorial to remember the victims of Mumbai terror attacks.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

Later, on day three of her tour of India to see the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex saw how two Queen’s Young Leaders are transforming women’s health across the country.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

First, HRH visited Sassoon Dock fish market with OSCAR Foundation co-founder, Ashok Shankar Rathod. Many of the families of young boys and girls supported by the Foundation work here in very challenging circumstances. The foundation is working to give them better opportunities.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

OSCAR Foundation (Organization for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility) is a non-profit organisation that, through football instils the value of education and empowers underprivileged children and youth with life skills to take responsibility of their community development.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

Ashok Shankar Rathod along with two other founding members started the OSCAR Foundation in 2006. OSCAR runs a unique programme that not only teaches the sport to children and youth but also helps them to understand the value of education.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

Then, Sophie visited The Oscar Foundation in the Ambedkar Nagar Community. At the Foundation’s computer centre in the Community HRH was reunited with some of the girls she first met when she hosted them at the Windsor Castle during their #Kicklikeagirl UK tour last year.

photo by OSCAR Foundation shared via Facebook – click on pic to be redirected to view full gallery

Next, The Countess visited a Sir Elly Kadoorie School where Sophie met Queen’s Young Leader, Deane de Menezes, whose project ‘Red is the new Green’ aims to destigmatise menstruation, improve access to menstrual hygiene and ultimately prevent female absenteeism in schools.

photo shared by Diamond Jubilee Trust (@qejubileetrust) via Twitter

In India, it is estimated that over 23 million girls each year drop out of school early due to lack of menstrual hygiene facilities and the stigma surrounding menstruation. Sir Elly Kadoorie School is one of 30 locations where Deane is working.

photo shared by Diamond Jubilee Trust (@qejubileetrust) via Twitter

There, The Countess met girls and their mothers who have benefited from awareness raising sessions that Deane’s organisation provides and was shown the low-cost sanitary towel vending machines and incinerators which have helped to bring about a reduction in female absenteeism.

The Countess was also presented with a period pouch which are given to girls at her training sessions to provide them with somewhere clean and safe to keep their pads.

photo shared by Diamond Jubilee Trust (@qejubileetrust) via Twitter – Sophie with Queen’s Young Leaders Deane & Aditya

The Countess then visited Apnalaya health centre. Apnalaya, (Our Space in English), is a non-profit organization, founded in 1973 by Tom Holland. There Sophie met Queen’s Young Leader Aditya Kulkarni whose pioneering ‘Care Mother’ antenatal app has helped to reduce maternal and child mortality rates in India.

photo shared by @UKinMumbai via Twitter

On a walk to his clinic through one of the largest slums in India, Aditya told The Countess about his project. Globally, around 800 women die every day of preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and 20 per cent of these cases are in India.

photo shared by @UKinMumbai via Twitter

Aditya co-created “CareMother”, a mobile and online platform which enables health workers to provide pregnant women who would otherwise not have been reached with antenatal check-ups at their homes.

photo shared by Apnalaya (@ApnalayaTweets) via Twitter

The Countess met health workers and mothers, and heard how the app has helped women from disadvantaged communities in India access antenatal care. Within the last two years, Aditya and his team have provided affordable care to more than 30,000 pregnant women in over 800 villages in India, Bangladesh and Kenya.

photo shared by Apnalaya (@ApnalayaTweets) via Twitter

At the Centre, The Countess spoke with health workers who use CareMother daily to monitor the health of expectant mothers, as well as women who have used the app to monitor their pregnancy.

photo shared by Apnalaya (@ApnalayaTweets) via Twitter

Apnalaya works with the most marginalized people living in highly under-served slums of Mumbai. The infant mortality rate in the area is 55, while the national rate is 41. Every second child is underweight. 88% of pregnant women in 2015-16 were anaemic. 53% girls do not have more than eight years of education.

photo shared by Apnalaya (@ApnalayaTweets) via Twitter

68% of the families in the area buy drinking water. Only 13.7% females and 54.6% males are employed with majority working as casual labour. The average monthly income of a family is INR 7,802, i.e., about US$ 121 (From Life on the Margin: Charting Realities, Apnalaya Studies, Series I).

For press release about Sophie’s Day 3 of visit to India by Diamond Jubilee Trust click here, for quite detailed Daily Mail’s coverage click here. I will correct the order of visits after CC will become available. I’m working with very limited information.

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HRH’s visit to India – Day 2 Hyderabad & Mumbai

On the second day of her visit to India (30th April), The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in the morning visited the Niloufer Hospital which cares for over 10,000 preterm babies each year.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

This institution was founded in 1949 by the Princess Niloufer. Princess Niloufer was the daughter of king of Ottoman Empire and was married to prince Moazzam Jah- son of the last Asaf Jahi ruler in 1931.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

Just like Florence nightingale, the princess had a liking to serve the poor and also took to serving the poor as a nurse. In 1949, one of the princess’ maids died during childbirth due to lack of medical facilities.

photo shared by Forus Health (@forus_health) via Twitter

On hearing this news, the princess was very shattered. She then decided to ensure that no mother faces death hereafter. Princess Niloufer made known to her father-in-law the problems arising due to this lack of medical facilities.

photo shared by Spectrum Ophthalmics (@SpectrumOphtha1) via Twitter

Established in 1953 as a 100 bedded hospital, presently it has bed strength of 500 with advanced maternity, pediatric, pediatric surgery supported by excellent diagnostic facilities.

photo shared by Forus Health (@forus_health) via Twitter

After Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter:

With about 300 births a day (they claim the highest) the staff take ROP seriously & ensuring eye screening happens where and when needed.

Before the Trust’s programme launched in 2015, there were no screening & treatment services for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at Niloufer Hospital. Today, all preterm babies born at the hospital are screened for ROP as part of their standard care.⁣

photo shared by UK in Hyderabad via Twitter

During her visit, The Countess of Wessex met mothers and their babies in the Kangaroo Care Ward. HRH learnt more of the care given to premature babies and how and when they are screened and treated for retinopathy of prematurity.

photo shared by UK in Hyderabad via Twitter

Sophie also met parents and children affected by ROP at a support group, including 3 year old Rishita, who was born at just 28 weeks weighing 650g, along with Dr Yadaiah who battled to save Rishita’s life and later her sight when she developed ROP.

photo shared by the Royal Family

During her visit to the hospital, The Countess saw the impact of programmes supported by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, which includes training modules and education to improve quality of preterm care in neonatal intensive care units and ongoing support groups for parents who have a child affected by Retinopathy of prematurity, a condition exclusive to premature babies which can lead to irreversible blindness without treatment.

photo shared by UK in Hyderabad via Twitter

The Countess of Wessex donated two Forus NEOs to Niloufer Hospital and Ghandia Hospital. The donation came on behalf of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, with eight more NEOs set to be donated to other government hospitals across the country.

Speaking about the Trust’s work in India, the Countess said:

We have come a long way from identifying Retinopathy of Prematurity (RoP) as our area of focus to seeing the region-wide change that the Trust has been able to bring about with different stakeholders. The technology is available and the capability of people is clearly visible. What is needed now to treat avoidable blindness in pre-term babies is to upscale work already being done by eye care specialists.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

In the afternoon, Her Royal Highness attended a Meeting with Sri Shailendra Kumar Joshi (Chief Secretary to the Government of Telangana) at Telangana Secretariat, Hyderabad. I cannot find anything about this meeting.

photo shared by Crispin Simon (@CrispinSimon) via Twitter

In the evening, The Countess of Wessex attended a Welcome Dinner at the Chambers of Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Dinner was hosted by Crispin Simon – British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai/Western India.

Coverage about HRH’s visit here & here.

PS Tomorrow I’m travelling to have a few days off, not sure if I will be posting during my time abroad. If not, I will update the rest of the tour after coming back home.

Outfit & jewellery:
If someone is bored, please do the list for me!

HRH’s visit to India – Day 1 at Hyderabad

Yesterday, 29th April, The Countess of Wessex has started her visit to India as Vice Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. It is HRH’s final overseas tour as Vice-Patron ahead of the Trust’s planned closure in January 2020.

photo shared by UK in Hyderabad via Twitter

During her visit, The Countess will see how the work of the charitable foundation has supported to tackle avoidable blindness in babies born prematurely and hear about the impact of programmes successfully launched by Queen’s Young Leaders.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

Her Royal Highness is visiting Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi from Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May. Yesterday in the morning HRH arrived at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. Mr Alexander Stonor is in attendance.

photo shared by UK in Hyderabad via Twitter

Upon the arrival, HRH was received by Mr Andrew Fleming (British Deputy High Commissioner to the Republic of India). The Countess later attended a Reception at the Taj Krishna Hotel in Hyderabad.

On her first day, The Countess of Wessex visited two hospitals across Hyderabad to see first-hand the work the Trust has helped to establish to prevent premature babies from losing their sight.

photo © GMB Akash/Panos Pictures for British High Commission, New Delhi, shared via Flickr, used here under CC license

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a major cause of childhood blindness affecting thousands of preterm babies born in India – home to the highest number of preterm births in the world.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

First, HRH visited Gandhi Medical College and Hospital to see the Special Newborn Care Unit. Gandhi Medical College, originally named People’s Medical College, was founded on 14 September 1954.

photo shared by the Royal Family

At Gandhi The Countess watched the ROP screening programme in action. Premature babies are often given oxygen in the incubator to survive, but too much oxygen is highly toxic and can lead to total and irreversible sight loss.

photo © GMB Akash/Panos Pictures for British High Commission, New Delhi, shared via Flickr, used here under CC license

At the Special Unit, The Countess saw babies being carefully monitored to prevent ROP. HRH met with ophthalmologists, paediatricians and nurses who have all been trained under the Trust’s programme to provide the high level of care required to prevent blindness occurring in these early and most fragile days of life.

photo shared by the Royal Family

Screening for retinopathy of prematurity should continue every 1-2 weeks until the risk has passed or the baby receives urgent treatment. The Countess visited mothers & their babies who are being carefully monitored by health professionals at Gandhi Medical College & Hospital.

photo © GMB Akash/Panos Pictures for British High Commission, New Delhi, shared via Flickr, used here under CC license

In the afternoon The Countess visited LV Prasad Eye Institute –  a Centre of Excellence in the prevention of blindness. The Institute was established in 1987 as a not-for-profit, non-government eye care institution.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The mission of LVPEI is to provide “equitable and efficient eye care to all sections of society.” There Sophie re-met with Dr Jalali, Dr who to date has saved the sight of over 20,000 babies, & spoke about the improvements that have come about to save the sight of thousands of preterm babies across India.

photo shared by the Royal Family

Dr Subhadra Jalali is a world leader in ROP who has been instrumental in the delivery of the Trust’s programme She is training teams across the country and internationally.

photo © GMB Akash/Panos Pictures for British High Commission, New Delhi, shared via Flickr, used here under CC license

Speaking to trainees at the hospital, The Countess said:

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Jalali a few weeks ago in London. To come here and see for myself what you are doing, is fantastic… you are creating a lasting legacy. The Trust has always wanted a legacy that will last on into the future and this is what you are doing. It is going to have a huge impact on the lives of thousands of children long into the future.

From Maharashtra in the west down to Tamil Nadu in the south, LVPEI are training ophthalmologists, nurses and health staff across India to detect and treat ROP. That’s why HRH joined a video conference with staff from some of those regional hospitals to hear about their experiences.

photo shared by LVPEI (@lvprasadeye) via Twitter

The Countess also interacted with the Paediatric and the ROP team of LVPEI and discussed the way forward. Later Sophie attended a Lunch with staff and government officials at LV Prasad Eye Institute.

photo © GMB Akash/Panos Pictures for British High Commission, New Delhi, shared via Flickr, used here under CC license

In the evening The Countess of Wessex attended a Reception at the Residence of the British Deputy High Commissioner to the Republic of India.

photo shared by Andrew Fleming (@Andrew007Uk) via Twitter

When last year Andrew Fleming was in Karimnagar, he promised India’s first cadre of trainee midwives a reception when they graduated. He wrote via Twitter: “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine HRH The Countess of Wessex, in Hyderabad as Vice Patron of @qejubileetrust, would be Chief Guest. Thanks ma’am 🙏🏻.”

photo shared by Indie Kaur (@indiek1) Director of Midwifery, Fernandez Hospital Foundation, India.

That’s why The Countess met the group of nurses, now trained specifically to deliver exceptional maternity care to women and newborns, at a reception hosted by Andrew Fleming.

photo shared by the Royal Family

The professional midwifery “Promise” programme has been created by The Fernandez Hospital’s Educational and Research Foundation, in partnership with the Government of Telangana (India) and UNICEF-Hyderabad (India).

Usually babies in India are delivered by trained nurses who perform a midwifery function. This group of women are the first dedicated professionally qualified midwives. It is a significant step in improving antenatal and maternity care.

Following on from the success of the programme, Fernandez Hospital Foundation is looking to expand the programme and India’s Central Government and the World Health Organisations are now looking to develop this model of care all across India.

On her first day of visit to India, Sophie sent a personal message via Twitter: “I was so thrilled to see the work supported by @qejubileetrust in action today screening & saving premature babies’ sight from Retinopathy of Prematurity. Congratulations to @MoHFW_INDIA, @thePHFI & the Trust for creating this remarkable legacy for the people of India. – Sophie.”

For Royal Family coverage, click here. Diamond Jubilee Trust’s coverage is here. Lovely article about Sophie’s visit can be found here. Coverage by Daily Mail is here. Also great to see Tim Rooke with Sophie in India.

Outfit & jewellery:
New red blouse, I believe custom design by Aross Girl.
New trousers, cannot find those.
Tiffany ‘citrine’ earrings.
Citrine pendant by Heavenly Necklaces.
Skagen Nicoline watch.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg.
New, Penelope Chilvers Jackie Leather Sandals.

Evening:
Brooke Dress in Apple Green with Pale Blue Belt, by Aross Girl.
Earrings seen before, no ID.
Citrine necklace by Heavenly Necklaces.
Tiffany T bracelet.
Skagen Nicoline watch
Clutch by Sophie Habsburg in Lunatic style.
New, Tango suede shoe in TAN/ULTRAVIOLET by Penelope Chilvers.

 

The Earl and Countess of Wessex with The Duke of York announced as Vice Presidents of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

On the 25th April, it has been announced that The Duke of York joined The Earl and Countess of Wessex as new Vice Presidents of the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Their Royal Highnesses were photographed in the private grounds of Windsor Castle earlier this week as they posed for an official photo to commemorate their new roles, with two of The Queen’s Highland ponies, Lomond and Jubilee, who will take part in RWHS Pageant that will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

photo © Steve Parsons/Press Association shared by The Duke of York (@TheDukeOfYork) via Twitter

For the first time in its 76 year history, Royal Windsor Horse Show announced the appointment of three Royal Vice Presidents; HRH The Duke of York and TRHs The Earl and Countess of Wessex who will play a significant part in the event which takes place in the private grounds of Windsor Castle from 8 – 12 May. They join HM The Queen, Patron of the Show, and its President HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Simon Brooks-Ward, show director, said:

We are thrilled and honoured to announce our three royal vice presidents. Their active interest and participation in Britain’s largest horse show will be appreciated by all on the showground.

RWHS is located in the private grounds of Windsor Castle, the only time of year the grounds are opened up to the public. The annual Show combines the highest level of sporting action with an unforgettable shopping and gastronomic experience, and a host of thrilling live entertainment.

20th Anniversary Reception in memory of Jill Dando & Fundraising Dinner for British Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association

On the 24th April, The Countess of Wessex attended a 20th Anniversary Reception in memory of Jill Dando at the Royal Society in London. The Countess is a former trustee of the Jill Dando Fund. Jill Wendy Dando (9 November 1961 – 26 April 1999) was a British journalist, television presenter, and newsreader who was 1997 BBC Personality of the Year. At the time of her death, she was the presenter of the BBC programme Crimewatch.

photo by Andrew Parsons (@parsonsmedia) of i-Images courtesy of UCL News (@uclnews) shared via Twitter

On 26 April 1999, Dando was fatally shot outside her home in Fulham, London. A local man, Barry George, was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Jill’s case remains open. After her death, Jill’s colleague Nick Ross proposed a memorial to her in the form of a new university institution in her name.

Ross had already conceived of crime science as a new discipline which distinguished itself from criminology by focusing on crime prevention, scientific methodology and multidisciplinary approach. He and Dando’s fiancé, Alan Farthing, established the Jill Dando Fund with the help of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, the Countess of Wessex, and her family and friends.

After the Jill Dando Fund was set up, the UCL was selected to host the Jill Dando Institute. The JDI came into being on the 26th April 2001, the second anniversary of Jill Dando’s death, under the inaugural Directorship of Professor Gloria Laycock. In 2009, the Department of Security and Crime Science was established in order to facilitate the offering of post-graduate taught and research courses. The JDI is the first institute in the world devoted to crime science.

Speaking at the event, Nick Ross said:

Jill was, quite simply, the most popular woman on television, and she was a fabulous colleague. There has been a blaze of publicity this month, much about Jill’s murder, but tonight our sole purpose is to celebrate her life and her remarkable legacy; a major department in UCL, a world-class university, that bears her name.

More than a million people gave to the Jill Dando Fund 20 years ago. Their generosity has led to the creation of one of the largest academic institutions in the world devoted to crime reduction. The Jill Dando Institute for Security and Crime Science at UCL now has over 30 staff and dozens of researchers trying to forestall tomorrow’s crimes. Jill has left behind a legacy of which everyone can be proud.

For full press release about the event, click here. Daily Mail’s coverage can be found here. Hello’s coverage is here. For BBC News article from 15th March 2000 about setting up the Jill Dando Fund, click here.

Afterwards, as Patron of British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, The Countess attended a Fundraising Dinner at Boisdale Restaurant at Canary Wharf in London. Gala Dinner organized by The Membership Committee of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association to celebrate the success of the 4-man Bobsleigh team from the Sochi Olympics and to raise funds for the Youth and Para sections of our sports.

photo GBBobsleighSkeleton (@The_BBSA) shared via Twitter

The evening also supported the growth of Para Bobsleigh programme for athletes with disabilities. After British Bobsleigh & Skeleton on Facebook:

This time yesterday we were celebrating the Sochi Olympic 4️⃣ man success with a host of 🏅 winning athletes & coaches, some old friends & some new, plus our patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO.

A great night at Boisdale Restaurants, with plenty of smiles & no shortage of pics that we’ll share over the coming days.

The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association is the main sports governing body for bobsleigh and skeleton in the United Kingdom. The British are credited to be the founders of competitive bobsleigh, which became an Olympic sport in 1924, and also had an important part to play in developing the sport of skeleton, which evolved from the famous Cresta Run, and became an Olympic sport in 2002.

Outfit & jewellery:
Alaia, ‘Scalloped metallic stretch-knit’ midi dress.
Earrings seen before, no ID.
Halcyon Days ‘Maya’ bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Jimmy Choo Cayla clutch-bag.
Black or dark navy suede pumps, possibly Prada or Manolo’s.

The Countess of Wessex Helps Orbis UK Launch ‘See My Future’ Appeal

Also today, The Countess of Wessex as Global Ambassador of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, attended a Reception for Orbis UK at Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in London. At today’s reception HRH helped Orbis UK to launch the ‘See My Future’ Appeal.

photo by Ben Stevens/i-Images courtesy of Orbis UK

After press release by Orbis UK: On Thursday 28th March, HRH The Countess of Wessex joined blindness prevention charity, Orbis UK, to mark the launch of their See My Future appeal in central London. For three months, until 23rd June, all public donations to the appeal will be doubled by the UK government.

photo courtesy of Orbis UK

In many parts of the world, avoidable sight loss means children are dropping out of school. Issues such as refractive error, cataract and strabismus (severe squint) can all impede a child’s ability to see the blackboard, their text books and their teachers. In some cases children are dropping out of school to care for an adult with sight-loss.

photo courtesy of Orbis UK

See My Future aims to raise £850,000 and the UK government will match every pound, up to £2 million, which will help save the sight of thousands of children and adults around the world. All of the money matched by the UK government will go directly towards expanding Orbis’s project in Nepal which screens and treats children with sight loss, enabling them to attend school and face a brighter future. All individual donations will support the charity’s vital sight saving work across the world, wherever it is needed most.

photo by Ben Stevens/i-Images courtesy of Orbis UK

The Countess of Wessex, who is a global ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, is a longstanding supporter of Orbis. She has seen the charity’s sight-saving work first hand, visiting Orbis’s Flying Eye Hospital programmes in Kolkata in 2013 and Bangladesh in 2017, observing everything from a cataract surgery using basic cost effective techniques, to a complex prosthetic surgery on a man who had not been able to see for fourteen years.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

Access to proper eye care can be life changing for a Nepalese schoolchild. Unchecked visual impairments can lead to blindness, meaning the child is forced to leave school, and potentially faces a lifetime of unemployment and poverty.

By giving them basic eye-care, the UK Aid-backed See My Future appeal will help give a future to more than 300,000 children across Nepal.

UK Aid Match will double every pound, up to £2m, which the Great British public donates to this campaign, meaning their generosity will go twice as far.

Rebecca Cronin, Orbis UK CEO says:

With a simple eye exam and a pair of glasses, a child’s life can be transformed. Clear sight opens up a future of possibilities – children can return to school, play with their friends and contribute to society, breaking the cycle of poverty.

With the UK government’s Aid Match scheme, our See My Future appeal really will have twice the impact – just £5.50 doubled to £11 could provide two new pairs of glasses for children struggling to see in school.”

Orbis UK’s See My Future appeal runs until 23rd June. You will learn more about the appeal by clicking here.

Outfit & jewellery:
New, Floral-print cloqué dress by Peter Pilotto in marine.
Earrings, no ID.
Tiffany T bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Clutch bag by Sophie Habsburg.
Prada pumps.

 

The Countess of Wessex hosts a reception at St. James’s Palace to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders

Today (28th March) The Countess of Wessex as Vice-Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust hosted a special reception at St. James’s Palace to celebrate the achievements of global eye health leaders in their efforts to bring vision to everyone, everywhere. 170+ eye experts from around the Commonwealth attended the event to celebrate their work.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

The Queen, as Patron of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, sent a message to those at the reception, which was delivered by The Countess.

I am pleased to welcome you to St James’s Palace as you come together to celebrate the work of the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium.

Through collaboration and partnership over the past five years, the Consortium has helped many thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth, and has positively affected the way eye health is delivered.

Without the work and support of each and every partner organisation, this would not have been achieved. Whether you are involved in research and development, the delivery of training, or working as an ophthalmologist, I extend my thanks on behalf of those whose sight you seek to save.

I wish you all an enjoyable and successful meeting.

ELIZABETH R.

Afterwards, Dr Simon Arunga, an Ophthalmologist from Uganda, shared how the consortium has helped him and his colleagues develop their eye care services. ‘We are receiving training, working together and learning from each other, so that we can provide better eye care to everyone we serve.’

photo shared by the Royal Family

Today’s reception celebrated the achievements of global eye health leaders like Dr Hillary Rono. You can watch documentary titled “Double Joy” which tells the story of Dr Rono – a Kenyan Ophthalmologist and beneficiary of the Trust’s fellowship programme – who conducts research into the effectiveness of smartphone-based eye care in rural communities in Kenya.

The Countess also met Dr Subhadra Jalali who has saved the sight of 20,000+ babies and counting in India. HRH will meet Dr Jalali again on a visit to Hyderabad at the end of April to see how Ophthalmologists are tackling avoidable blindness there. The Countess will also see the outcome of programmes set up by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in India.

photo shared by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust – HRH with Dr Jalali

Dr Jalali is instrumental in the delivery of the Trust’s programme to tackle retinopathy of prematurity across India. There’s also a documentary titled “A life with sight” about Dr Jalali. India is home to the highest number of premature births in the world. Two decades ago, as efforts to improve neonatal care accelerated, more and more cases of blindness began to emerge.

Dr Jalali, a world-class ophthalmologist, mother and mentor, has been leading the fight to tackle preventable blindness in premature babies across India. “The Trust is honoured to work with Dr Jalali to ensure that every child born prematurely in India has the chance to see.”

photo shared by the Royal Family – HRH with Dr Rono

Worldwide 253 million people are blind or visually impaired, yet 80% of these cases could have been avoided. The Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium was established in 2015 by the Trust in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to bring quality eye care to those who need it.

Today’s detailed coverage, again courtesy of Royal Family Twitter. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shared a press release and details about the event via Twitter – thank you.