Enhancing Vision and Quality of Life in Maharashtra under Rural Eye Health Programme

July 2023

To improve the eye health of the rural population in Jalna through inclusive eye health services, Sightsavers India, in collaboration with Emtec Technologies Private Limited, launched the Rural Eye Health Programme in Jalna District, Maharashtra. The implementing partner for this project is Aurangabad Chikalthana Lions Eye Hospital.

A large population of our country still resides in villages. Sightsavers’ Rural Eye Health Programme – Netra Vasant aims at improving vision-related quality of life through strengthened eye health systems in rural areas of India. The programme aims to achieve universal coverage vis-a-vis eye health services in rural communities of the 116 selected districts by reducing blindness prevalence, providing equitable coverage, and financial & programmatic sustainability.

The formal launch of Sightsavers India’s ‘Netra Vasant’ Rural Eye Health Programme in Aurangabad aims to introduce Sightsavers India’s initiative on eye health in Jalna district and other nearby districts of Maharashtra. Under the intervention, the rural population will be screened for eye problems, and those needing cataract surgery or other treatments will be referred to the partner hospital. This launch intends to improve access to eye healthcare services in the blocks and the health-seeking behaviour of the community.

Under the programme, community outreach camps will be conducted at distant locations to give access to door-to-door services to the beneficiaries. To further enhance the outreach of the launch, a group of frontline health workers (ASHAs, Anganwadi Workers etc.) will be trained in primary eye care. They will be crucial in identifying and referring patients with eye problems to the implementing partner hospital, Aurangabad Chikalthana Lions Eye Hospital. Key dignitaries from Govt Departments, Industries and Corporates attended the launch.

“With the launch of this Programme, eye care services will become more accessible to the community. It will help us identify common eye problems, such as refractive error & cataracts, which can be treated with surgical and non-surgical interventions. We are proud to partner with Emtec Technologies Private Limited and to strengthen the availability, accessibility, and affordability of eye health care services in the rural district of Jalna,” said RN Mohanty, CEO Sightsavers India.

“We are both proud and humbled to be associated with this noble cause. It is a delight to watch this dynamic team work relentlessly towards providing eye care to people in the remotest parts of the country. I truly cherish our association of the last few years and wish this team continued success” said, Sachin Ghaisas, Managing Partner Emtec Digital Services & Head of Global Delivery Centers, Emtec Digital Services.

“Aurangabad Chikalthana Lions Eye Hospital is a well-equipped comprehensive Eye Care Centre. Our dedicated team of doctors and paramedics has been giving optimum performance consistently. Sightsavers India has opened a novel avenue to reach out to the community of Jalna for affordable eye care. With this initiative, we can ensure proper screening and support services while referring patients to the hospital for surgical procedures. We, the Trustees of AC-LEH, look forward to a sustained implementation partnership with Sightsavers India for community eye care”, said Ln. Ramesh Pokerna, Trust Secretary