Sightsavers Launches Mobile Vision Centre Boats in Sunderbans to Promote Quality Eye Health

March 2015

Keeping quality eye health in mind, Sightsavers in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank launches a first-of-its kind mobile vision centre boat in the Sunderbans. With lakhs of people living in remote and inaccessible delta regions mobile vision centre boats was seen as the best solution.

The Sundarban forest lies in the vast delta on the Bay of Bengal not too far from the city of Kolkata. It is famous for its natural beauty and wildlife. In terms of health indicators, it is one of the lowest performing regions in the country. The landscape consists of difficult terrain and inaccessible areas and the region is home to several historically marginalised groups. The existing government health system is inadequate to meet the health care needs of the local population. Recognising the need, Sightsavers launched the mobile eye boat clinic in order to reach people with eye ailments and poor eye health.

The Sunderbans project aims to improve coverage as well as access to affordable and quality eye health services to the people who reside in the interior and inaccessible areas. Further, the project has been designed to increase awareness and improve attitudes towards eye health in target communities.

Through the project Sightsavers aims to conduct 27,400 corrective surgeries and screen4,57,800 children in schools over a five year period. In addition to this Sightsavers envisions setting up of 19 vision centres across all blocks (including two mobile vision centres).

The project would also train around 3,180 health ambassadors at village and block level, 930 trained government health workers on eye health and 98 trained government ophthalmic human resource.

About Sightsavers

Sightsavers is a global development organisation working to eliminate avoidable blindness, and support irreversibly blind people to lead lives of independence and dignity. In India since 1966, Sightsavers works with partner organisations to bring quality eye health services to some of the least served areas of the country.

In addition to eye health services, Sightsavers supports visually impaired people through education, counselling, training and leadership development, and advocacy for the rights of the disabled. For more information visit staging-sightsaverswww.sightsaversindia.in

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