Sightsavers, the international anti-blindness charity, has seen its annual income rise to £302m, its highest ever level.
The charity’s annual report and accounts for the year to the end of 2016, published on its website, show that its income went up by £103.7m compared to the previous year – an increase of 52 per cent.
The charity’s income is mostly from in-kind donations of drugs used to combat diseases that cause blindness.
Merck & Co gave the charity Mectizan tablets worth £191m, which are used to prevent river blindness. In the previous year Merck & Co gave tablets worth £135m.
The International Trachoma Initiative, set up by Pfizer, gave the charity Zithromax tablets worth £39m, used to treat trachoma in Sudan.
This is the first time that tablets have appeared in Sightsavers’ accounts. The arrangement is a temporary one, and allows the tablets to be delivered despite US sanctions against Sudan.
The charity’s income from donations and legacies also rose from £41m to £48m.
In total the charity treated 154 million people.