The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation set up in 2012 to celebrate The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. Working through grants, advocacy and convening with partners, the Trust aims to create sustainable improvements to the lives of Commonwealth citizens to leave a lasting legacy which will be owned by the whole commonwealth. In its first year, the Trust formally launched two programmes: the elimination of avoidable blindness and the empowerment of a new generation of young leaders.
The Trust is working to combat three major avoidable causes of blindness – namely DR, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and Trachoma. The DR Initiative of the Trust is supporting programmes in 13 countries across the Commonwealth, including India. ROP initiatives are being supported only in India. The Trust’s Trachoma initiative does not support work in India, but does so in 11 countries of the Commonwealth.
In India, the Trust chose to engage with two of the most relevant institutions in its work. Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is an autonomous institution set up as a public/private initiative of the Government of India. It was set up with the aim of filling the deficit of public health professionals and building institutional capacity for training, research and policy development in the area of public health. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a renowned centre for research and postgraduate education in public and global health. One of the world’s leading public health institutes, it makes significant contributions to public and global health research, education and translation of knowledge into policy and practice.
The Countess of Wessex, Vice-Patron of the QEDJT, visits ROP patients in the Niloufer Hospital, Hyderabad, April 2019