Rural Eye Health Programme
Large population of our country still resides in villages. In most rural communities, eye health (if available) is limited to cataract screening with limited or no attention given to other eye ailments. With the expansion of primary health under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), making primary eye care available to rural and remote areas will significantly improve eye health of the community. Sightsavers through its REH programme seeks to create awareness, provide quality eye health services and eliminate avoidable blindness among the rural population.
Urban Eye Health Programme
A substantially large number of impoverished urban pockets do not receive any health, education or livelihood support. Sightsavers works in some metropolitan cities with the objective to ensure comprehensive and sustainable eye health mechanisms for the urban slums of India. Simultaneously, Sightsavers is working closely with the Ministry of Health and the National Urban Health Mission towards creating systems that provide access to quality eye health to the urban poor.
National School Eye Health Programme
Sightsavers launched Vidyajyoti School Eye Health Programme with the goal that ‘good and maintained eye health’ is optimised in school children, so the improved learning outcomes in
government schools are evident. This intervention aims to screen children in Government school to identify and prevent eye diseases and vision impairments among children.
The programme has 8 components – Health education, health services, nutritional services, counselling, healthy school environment, health promotion for staff, family/community involvement and research or impact assessment, which can be broadly categorised under the three major constituents of service delivery, eye health awareness and an enabling environment.
National Truckers Eye Health Programme
Sightsavers realises the importance of eye health for the overworked truckers’ community in ensuring road safety. Since drivers can’t get to eye care services, Sightsavers in India have created a system which takes the services directly to them. RAAHI is one of the biggest eye health programmes in the country for the overworked truck drivers’ community.
The programme’s ingenious: there are over 30 sites around India’s ‘golden quadrilateral’, which covers the main long distance haulage routes across the whole country. Some are permanent vision centres, others pop-up outreach camps, but all are in locations where drivers stop as part of their usual route to rest or unload cargo.