Representative Photo
Representative Photo

CBM, which works towards disability inclusion, on Wednesday said it will set up 44 vision centres in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank.

With this association, Standard Chartered Bank will provide funding support for the next three years for the project. The announcement comes ahead of World Sight Day to work towards reducing avoidable blindness in these states, CBM said in a release.

The three-year project aims at reducing avoidable blindness by delivering primary eye care services by setting up 44 disability inclusive vision centres, covering a population of approximately 22 lakhs in 34 blocks of 25 districts in three states of India.

CBM said these inclusive vision centres, situated in rural areas, will cater to the most vulnerable communities, including people with disabilities. Each of these vision centres will be connected with secondary hospital for referrals and further treatments, including surgeries.

"This partnership with CBM India will help create a long term and sustainable impact in the targeted communities and will further strengthen our effort to prevent avoidable blindness and ensure quality eye health services in India," said Karuna Bhatia, Head of Sustainability, India, Standard Chartered Bank.

Sara Varughese, Managing Trustee, CBM India said the model for setting up vision centres is replicable and scalable and is the most appropriate model for eye screening.

"In general, 10 per cent of the total population undergo screening at vision centres. Out of which, 25-30 per cent of screened population will be identified with refractive errors; and spectacles will be disbursed for 60-65 per cent refraction cases. And 8.5 per cent of people screened may also undergo cataract surgeries," said Varughese.

"By third year, we are aiming to attain sustainability with revenue from spectacles and nominal OPD fee. These vision centres also offer value added services such as testing for diabetic and blood pressure," she added.

This helps in identifying people with eye care problem at an early stage thus avoiding people going blind unnecessarily. The revolving fund invested for such value-added services as well as for starting of optical units will ensure sustainability of these centres, the release said.

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Free Press Journal