RAAHI is designed to align with the Sightsavers global Uncorrected Refractive Error Strategy where Road safety is a core component. The truckers were given free eye checkups and corrective measures to combat their eye health issues.
The main objective of the National Truckers’ Eye Health Programme is to increase the uptake of referral services among the occupational driving community in locations with the highest target population density, over a period of 3 years, and to facilitate and ensure that refractive error and referral services are delivered and consequently followed up adequately as well as appropriately maintaining the compliance for spectacle distribution. The programme works on a twin approach of hub and Spoke. Static Vision centres (Hubs) are created at key locations to provide eye screening, refraction, spectacles, awareness, counselling and referral services in the catchment transport areas, while the distance on the map between major locations is bridged by Eye Screening Camps (Spokes). A strategically girded placement of Hubs and Spokes ensure optimal coverage.
All Static Vision Centres and Eye Screening Camps are conducted by trained eye care professionals associated with Sightsavers hospital partners. The RAAHI National Truckers’ Eye Health Programme is currently active in key transport locations in the golden quadrilateral of India. Important ports of the Indian transport industry in metropolitan cities which oversee the movement of commercial goods and services including Mumbai, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata are currently active under the programme action. At present, the programme spans 21 cities on the golden Quadrilateral and its periphery, altogether accounting for 13 states and 1 Union Territory of India i.e. Delhi and National Capital region.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Caroline Harper, Chief Executive, Sightsavers said, “We think that the National Truckers Eye Health Programme is very critical and important for us to keep you safe. You are the ones who are always on the roads. We understand that it is difficult for you to take out time for yourself to get your eyes tested and it is our job to make it easily accessible for you. Your eye health is important for you as well as people on the road. I would like to thank all local authorities and hospitals associated with us to make it possible for us to start this center here. I would like to also invite your fellow truckers to get their eyes tested and stay safe.”