Sightsavers, with the support of SBI Capital Markets Limited as part of its CSR in healthcare program, sets up three mobile vision centers in the cities of Chennai, Kolkata and Pune to strengthen primary eye care services . This is part of her National Urban Eye Health Program – Amrita Drishti.
The intervention aims to increase the demand for eye health services among the poor urban population through improved eye care seeking behaviors. Mobile vision centers have the potential to increase access to inclusive and quality eye health services through an integrated and strengthened urban health service delivery system. The project will affect 22,500 slum dwellers in three cities in one year, according to a statement released on Saturday.
The model is cost effective and accessible to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups such as women, the elderly and children in urban slums. The program is implemented by the India Vision Institute in Chennai, the HV Desai Eye Hospital in Pune and the Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Center in Kolkata.
These mobile vans are equipped with the necessary resources and equipment to reach the target population, which precisely includes ophthalmoscope, retinoscope, trial lens, trial frame, objective, vision cards, l occluder and vision test drum.
The van is also equipped with a high-tech device known as the “3-Nethra non-mydriatic background camera”. The device will help in screening for serious eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, the mobile centers will visit various locations and perform eye screening and identify patients for refractive error, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy (DR) using the installed equipment.
Patients who need more in-depth examinations and treatment will be referred to the base hospital. People identified with a refractive error will receive glasses directly. A team made up of an optometrist and community health workers (CHWs) will manage the activities.
“Since the pandemic hit the country, health systems were overwhelmed and people avoided going to hospitals or clinics. The situation is extremely skewed for people with less means and less access, such as people with disabilities (PwD), women, the elderly and children. In such times, mobile clinics have proven to be a valuable tool in planning and responding to a wide variety of public health crises. The mobile eye health model has the ability to reach vulnerable patient populations during difficult times and meet the eye care needs of the community, ”said RN Mohanty, CEO of Sightsavers India.