Operation Eyesight’s work begins at the community level. It’s also where our solutions begin. Our model of Hospital-Based Community Eye Health enlists the help of local people hired as community health workers.
Living in the communities where they work, the community health workers are trained to conduct surveys that determine the extent of blindness in their community. Then, they work with our hospital partners to develop plans to eliminate avoidable blindness by referring people to an appropriate level of care. Community health workers also provide general health education, perform vaccinations, help refer and transport patients, and more.
Using this approach, in 2016 we declared a total of 130 villages in India as avoidable blindness free!
Another way we work at the community level is through Vision Centres. These permanent facilities are located at strategic locations and provide services like:
- Eye exams
- Diagnosis of eye problems
- Referral to the appropriate level of care
- Fitting of new, custom-made prescription eyeglasses
An astonishing 75 percent of our vision centres have become financially self-sufficient within six months. By the end of 2016, we have established 92 of these facilities in India.
In Kenya and Zambia, our community development takes a different form. In communities like Ongata Naado, we work with villagers to drill wells that provide clean water. Not only does water improve sanitation which helps prevent blinding trachoma, but it improves enrolment in schools, improves nutrition, provides economic activity, and more.
Do you want to help us transform a community? Adopt a community’s eye care needs.