Sightsavers – in participation with SBI Capital Markets - have jointly set up a total of three mobile vision centers in the urban cities of India, namely Chennai, Kolkata, and Pune to provide primary eye care examination for the people with low financial income, according to a news covered by the local media.
Under its National Urban Eye Health Programme, the Indian government is seeking to strengthen its eye care services, which have been somehow battered by COVID-19 pandemic, and to increase demand for its eye health services among the underprivileged population living in the urban areas. The project is estimated to reach out to 22,500 people in three cities in a year.
The mobile vision vans are equipped with the essential resources and materials to provide proper eye examination to the target population. The equipment placed in the vans includes ophthalmoscope, retinoscope, trial lens, trial frame, lensometer, vision charts, occluder and vision testing drum. The examinations will be conducted by an optometrist, and Community Health Workers (CHW).
Most importantly, the vans are equipped with a high-tech device known as ‘non-mydriatic fundus camera 3-Nethra, which has the ability to detect serious eye health diseases such as Refractive Error, Cataract, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). Thus, these mobile vans will be constantly on the move, visiting various locations in the designated cities to conduct eye screenings, and identify those who need a thorough eye examination in a hospital.
“Since the pandemic hit the country, healthcare systems were overwhelmed, and people avoided going to the hospitals or clinics. The situation is skewed immensely for people with lesser means and access such as people with disabilities (PwDs), women, the elderly, and children. In such times, mobile clinics have proven to be a valuable tool in planning for and responding to a wide variety of public health crises. The mobile eye health model has an ability to reach vulnerable patient populations during difficult times and meet the eye care need of the community,” remarked RN Mohanty, CEO of Sightsavers India.