- Ocular Health Section
- Research & Innovation
- Fondation Théa
The Fondation Théa aims to promote or assist, in France and abroad, humanitarian or general interest initiatives to aid the fight against blindness and improve eye health.
WHO figures –August 2014
Blindness and visual disorders
• One child becomes blind every minute, one adult every 5 seconds
• In the world there are almost 285 million people with visual disorders: 39 million of them are blind and 246 million suffer from seriously impaired vision
• Nearly 90% of the people with impaired vision live in developing countries
• In the world, refractive errors that are not corrected by glasses are the main cause of visual impairment, cataracts are the first cause of blindness
• In the last 20 years, the number of people suffering from visual disorders caused by infectious diseases has decreased significantly
• 80% of visual disorders can be prevented or cured.
A precursor in the humanitarian field, Paul CHIBRET (1844-1911) came across trachoma, then called Egyptian ophthalmia. This terrible inflammation of the conjunctiva is caused by a highly contagious bacterium, chlamydiae trachomatis, which spreads rapidly in impoverished households. Paul was haunted by images of this destructive disease to such an extent that by the end of the nineteenth century he was considered one of the best French specialists in this disease. A fervent supporter of the internationalisation of knowledge, he founded the SFO (Société Française d'Ophtalmologie: French Society of Ophthalmology) in 1883 and immediately opened membership to foreign doctors.
In honour of the memory of this philanthropist, all Paul Chibret's descendants have dedicated themselves, each in his own way, to the fight against trachoma and the diffusion of knowledge in the field of ophthalmology. After the Second World War, Jean Chibret (1915-1989), who had turned the laboratory founded by his father, Henry, into a European leader, carried on the tradition by actively supporting the fight against trachoma in North African countries. He also inaugurated the world's largest ophthalmological documentation centre (The Chibret Institute), used by young specialists from all over the world.
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Henri and Jean-Frédéric Chibret have perpetuated and strengthened this family tradition in Laboratoires Théa through the provision of grants, medical training for healthcare professionals, humanitarian donations and financing scientific journals. Access to healthcare for the most vulnerable populations and knowledge sharing remain the rationale behind the Fondation Théa .
The legal framework of corporate Fondation Théa in France
The Corporate Fondation Théa is subject to French law. As such, French legislation does not allow the Fondation Théa to finance or supply medicinal products. Such donations fall within the competence of Laboratoires Théa as a pharmaceutical company.
The corporate Fondation Théa was registered on 14 April 2012.
The ethical framework
For the Board of Trustees of the Corporate Fondation Théa , the good governance of organizations seeking sponsorship from the Fondation Théa is a particularly important point. More than ever, the world of philanthropy requires information and trust, therefore the Corporate Fondation Théa will be concerned that the funds provided are used in a manner consistent with its objectives and, in making their choices, will be particularly attentive to means of guaranteeing the use or their donations, such as certification and independent auditing. The Corporate Fondation Théa considers that it has a responsibility towards the people that it intends to support, in particular toward those in distress, for whom and on whose behalf it commits substantial resources.
Since its creation in 1994, Laboratoires Théa has always promoted eye health : research fellowships in glaucoma, continuing medical training in partnership with the French Society of Ophthalmology (SFO) or the University of Auvergne Foundation, various donations including products for humanitarian missions etc.. However, the action that best symbolises Théa's commitment to philanthropy is its involvement in the fight against trachoma, something that runs in the family!