ACU announces partnership with Open Eyes Nepal on International Childhood Cancer Day

Nepalese children who suffer from a rare form of eye cancer could soon receive free treatment and ocular prosthesis thanks to a collaboration between Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Open Eyes Nepal.

ACU has committed to sponsoring Open Eyes Nepal, a not-for-profit organisation that provides free treatment and ocular rehabilitation for Nepalese children with Retinoblastoma, for four years. The sponsorship announcement coincides with International Childhood Cancer Day, celebrated globally on February 15.

ACU's sponsorship will enable Open Eyes Nepal to continue to support children and families who suffer from the impacts of Retinoblastoma. Children referred to Open Eyes Nepal will be able to undergo chemotherapy, enucleation or removal of the eyeball, and receive custom-fit prosthesis, which can cost approximately $100USD, free of charge.

Retinoblastoma is the most common eye cancer among children and can be fatal if left untreated. Approximately 50 new cases are detected in Nepal each year however many families cannot afford the expensive treatments for Retinoblastoma, so many cases reach an advanced stage of the disease. At present only one hospital in Nepal has an on-site ocular oncology specialist that can treat Retinoblastoma.

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global and Education Pathways) Chris Riley said ACU was proud to support an outstanding organisation that has become a lifeline to young children who are desperate for a second chance at life.

"ACU is proud to support the inspirational mission of Open Eyes Nepal, which is making an indelible difference in the daily lives of children affected by Retinoblastoma, and supporting their families," Mr Riley said.

"As a Catholic university, ACU is committed to serving the common good and enhancing the dignity of people and communities, and this extends to the people of Nepal.

"The mission of Open Eyes Nepal aligns closely with ACU and we are honoured to be partnering with them in this important work. The sponsorship also continues our longstanding support to Nepal, a country we have a long association with through alumni from our health programs, as well as our Community Engagement initiatives."

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