We celebrated World Sight Day on October 11, but for our hospital partners, one day wasn’t enough!...
The partnership model that was conceived and promoted by Operation Eyesight in India during 2012-2013. Traditionally, international NGOs (including Operation Eyesight) funded local organizations to implement an agreed-upon program or project. With our new NFTP model, Operation Eyesight and our partner organization jointly agree to the outcomes and reporting requirements for a specific program or project. Our partner then implements the program with technical support from us. In this model, we don’t give financial assistance to our partner; instead we provide them with technical assistance and supervision in all stages of delivery, ensuring they provide quality eye care services. Our expertise in community-based eye health programming and hospital quality improvement is in huge demand. Our Hospital-Based Community Eye Health program model is being replicated by various partners, meaning we’re able to reach out to more people to give them the gift of sight.
Poor eye health-seeking behaviour is found in many developing nations, including those in India and Africa. It refers to the behavior exhibited by people who are experiencing problems with their eyesight but are not taking care of their vision or seeking medical attention when needed. We’ve learned there are many reasons for this, such as simple lack of awareness that help is available, superstitions or myths about eyes, a bad experience receiving treatment in the past; inability to pay for services, or not being able to travel to a clinic or hospital. Grassroots education and awareness campaigns go a long way to addressing many of these barriers.
Eye care services provided in local communities by community members assessing (through survey questions) and referring individuals to appropriate services and treatments.
Women and men who work and live in the communities surrounding a hospital who have received training to identify eye health problems and conduct door-to-door surveys. They’re able to reach each individual and refer patients to an appropriate level of care.
Eye care services provided by a centre located within a community, where initial eye screenings and refractive testing can occur and further referral can be made. The centre may be mobile and can move around within a community.
A hospital or eye care centre where minor/standard surgeries and eye treatments can be administered. This centre will often be the initial referral point of the community and primary eye care service professionals.
Often referred to as Centres of Excellence, these centres have capacity to perform complicated surgeries and procedures. They also train professionals in the eye care field and sub-speciality studies.
A blend of community eye care, primary health care and community development. Through this model, hospitals develop the capacity to offer quality services and make them available to more patients. Community health workers who work and live in the communities surrounding a hospital receive training to identify eye health problems and conduct door-to-door surveys. They’re able to reach each individual and refer patients to an appropriate level of care.
Primary eye care centres (vision centres) are then established, while health promotion and education increases eye care and general health awareness. Hospital-based community eye care also reinforces maternal and child health activities like immunization and antenatal and postnatal care, as well as education and socio-economic development.
Permanent facilities staffed by trained eye care personnel, established at strategic locations to provide services like eye exams, diagnosis and referral of eye problems, and fittings for prescription eyeglasses. A full 85 percent of our vision centres become financially self-sustaining within six months through the sale of custom eyeglasses, which funds eyeglasses for those unable to afford them.
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80 percent of all blindness in the world can be avoided or cured. We refer to this blindness as “avoidable” to recognize that, with proper and timely treatment, sight loss can be prevented or cured.