Through its India Childhood
Blindness Initiative, ORBIS is working with
India’s eye care sector to build 50 fully
functioning pediatric eye care centers around the country by 2012. This figure, contingent upon funding, represents one-half of the government’s projected need for such centers by the year 2020.
Imran plays in the pediatric eye care center at
Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital in New Delhi.
ORBIS collaborated with Shroff's to establish
the child-friendly pediatric eye care center.
Each new pediatric eye care center will feature one or more fully trained pediatric eye care teams, a sufficient supply of pediatric surgical equipment, a well-equipped pediatric out-patient department, and a community outreach group.
Each center will also maintain a child-friendly out-patient environment, with staff trained to address the special needs of children and parents, appropriate diagnostic and other medical equipment, and child-sized furnishings, toys and play areas.
With an emphasis on underserved rural areas, the India Childhood
Blindness Initiative will:
- Enable 50 local partners to screen more than 5 million children for visual impairment
- Provide ophthalmic care for 725,000 children
- Provide sight-saving or sight-restoring surgical procedures to more than 50,000 children
To ensure that there are enough adequately trained pediatric eye care professionals to meet the need, ORBIS is working with India’s leading eye care institutions to provide fellowships each year to dozens of new pediatric eye care specialists.
In addition, eye care professionals in
India can access ongoing training programs on board the
Hospital or at local hospitals and can participate in international fellowships and online Cyber-Sight consultations.
Through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
screening program, children with
eye problems are treated at Lions
NAB Eye Hospital, an ORBIS partner.
Through the India Childhood
Blindness Initiative, ORBIS will provide eye care access to roughly half of the 400 million children in
India. More importantly, once established and operational, these pediatric eye care centers will continue to serve future generations of children.
Because of ORBIS’s role in developing
India’s pediatric eye care capacity, the
Indian government now includes childhood blindness among its health care priorities. ORBIS is currently assisting the Indian ministry of health in developing a “National Program for Control of
Blindness Plan,” which will focus on pediatric eye care over the years 2008-2012.