Last Updated:  20/09/2022

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Project Pitch By: Operation Eyesight India


Proposed Project Title

Vision Centre Based Community Eye Health Project


Thematic Area

Eradicating hunger, poverty and malnutrition, promoting health care, sanitation & safe drinking water

Sub Thematic Area

Hospital infrastructure, medical camps, surgeries, healthcare awareness & rehabilitation

Project Synopsis

Poor eye health-seeking behaviour usually stems from inadequate knowledge of eye diseases, harmful cultural beliefs and practices, eye problems viewed as low priority, gender discrimination, lack of affordability and poor mobility amongst the elderly. Often hospitals: 1. Provide eye care services but do not empower targeted communities. 2. Do not focus on the elimination of avoidable blindness; and 3. Make services available free of cost, but poor patients at risk of losing their sight do not access these services. Our analysis led to the conclusion that there were gaps in the services offered by hospitals and that greater effort was needed to empower the target communities. Thus our projects focus on not only strengthening hospitals and primary health centers to ensure delivery of quality services but also to empower target communities to take ownership and responsibility for their eye health needs.

Overview of the Proposed Project

Estimated Budget
INR 0.3 Cr - INR 0.6 Cr
Proposed Location
Kalahandi-Orissa, Kokrajhar-Assam, Warangal-Telangana

Key Project Partners
Government,Gram Panchayat

Project Status
Already Implemented-Replicable


Beneficiary Type (Primary): General
Beneficiary Type (Secondary): Elderly care
Estimated No. of Beneficiaries: above 10000 Individuals
Status of Baseline Survey: Already Done

Proposed Project Description

Goal: To eliminate avoidable blindness from the communities in three years


  1. Strengthen primary health care system that includes primary eye care in the target areas
  2. Ensure access to quality primary eye care services in the target villages through establishment of new Vision
  3. Establish functional referral systems, ensuring a continuum of care approach by creating linkages with tertiary levels of care for effective management of eye care conditions that cannot be treated at the community level
  4. Empower communities to take ownership of their eye health needs

The project will:

  • Establish one Vision Centers
  • Build capacity of primary health care staff ( ANM, ASHA & AWW) in primary eye care
  • Recruit and build capacity of CHWs on primary eye care and common eye diseases
  • Train CHWs in door-to-door survey methodology, eye screening protocols and counseling skills
  • Ensure complete immunization coverage and growth monitoring of children below 5 years at health centers.
  • Ensure complete ANC/ PNC coverage of pregnant and lactating mothers
  • Establish referral pathways between the community and primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care, to facilitate a continuum of care for patients
  • Conduct health education sessions using appropriate IEC/ BCC materials
  • Declaration of Avoidable Blindness Free Villages ( ABFVs)

Implementation Strategy: Our implementation strategy is based on our Flagship Vision Center Based Community Eye Health Project Model. The project location will cater to the needs of 50,000 population, which will be segregated into two clusters of 25,000 population. Each of the clusters will be assigned to a Community Health Worker recruited from the same community who will conduct the door-to -door survey and refer the people identified with eye issues to the Vision Centers where comprehensive eye examination is performed and the patients will be further referred to base hospital depending on the care required. Implementation and monitoring plan will be provided to the partner hospital to ensure the timely completion of survey, referral, treatment and our ultimate goal declaration of Villages as Avoidable Blindness Free. Following is the description of various activities in implementing the project.

  1. Establishment Vision Centers: This involves identification of the location, which will have good accessibility and excellent visibility of the eye health services; strengthen the primary health system and empower the community, so that they take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.  The location of the Vision Center within the district will be mutually agreed by Operation and EyeSight and the partner hospital
  2. Linkages developed for cross referrals: Linkages will be established between community, Vision Centers, secondary levels and tertiary levels eye units, so that quality and affordable service delivery can be provided as per the requirements.
  3. Capacity building of frontline workers: Operation Eyesight will train the Community Health workers in the Vision Center Based Community Eye Health – Two Modules. The first module will provide training on door-to-door survey for identification of eye problems and measuring visual acuity. The second module will cover implementation of micro-level cluster plans, awareness creation on eye health, patient follow-up and counseling, and implementation of Participatory Approach to Community Eye Health.
  4. Conduct door-to door surveys: The Community Health Workers will conduct the door-to-door survey in the OE prescribed format in the intervention areas and  identify the people with Eye Conditions. They’ll also educate families on eye health and general health topics, promoting health-seeking behavior.
  5. Referral system: Patients identified by the Community Health workers will be referred to the Vision centers for comprehensive eye examination
  6. Avoidable Blindness Free Village: An Avoidable Blindness Free Village is a village in which “No patient irrespective of religion, caste, creed and gender have visual acuity less than 6/60 in the better eye due to avoidable or treatable conditions”. The village will be declared as ABFV after all the services are provided to the community.

Project Impact: Through this project, we will eliminate avoidable blindness in the intervention areas by providing comprehensive eye care services. By preventing blindness and restoring sight, we will also open the door to economic, educational and social opportunities. With healthy vision, parents will be able to work and provide for their families, children will be able to read and go to school, and grandparents will be able to participate in their communities.


Goal by end of year three

Population covered by 1 Vision centres


People screened at the facilities


Prescription eyeglasses dispensed


Cataract surgeries conducted


People received health education


We will further integrate eye care into a pre-existing framework, creating referral linkages, educating communities on eye health and encouraging eye health-seeking behavior, we will also provide a sustainable foundation for the region to remain avoidable blindness-free in the future. 

Sustainability: Vision Centers established in the target area will become financially sustainable through sale of spectacles and nominal charges for eye examinations (OPD) and thus will continue to deliver services beyond the project duration with vertical linkages to the community and the hospitals and horizontal linkages with Primary Health Centers. 

Through the project, we will build the capacities of the community and primary health care staff, who will continue to be part of the public health system. This will help ensure that they continue to provide their services – ensuring complete immunization and ANC/PNC coverage, identifying eye conditions, and referring identified patients to the base hospital for appropriate treatment – beyond the duration of the project. 

The intense health education sessions and PACEH conducted by the project coordinator will improve health awareness and health seeking behavior among the community members.  Therefore, people requiring eye and health care services will access the established Vision Centers and health/ primary health centers respectively. Empowered community members will take ownership of their health needs, which will ensure the sustainability of the project


Salient Features

  1. Providing quality eye health care services accessible and affordable to those in need
  2. Training and Capacity Building of frontline workers
  3. Empowering communities to take care of their eye health needs

About Operation Eyesight India

Operation Eyesight India(OEI) is a NGO based in Hyderabad. It is part of Operation Eyesight Universal- a Canadian organization working with a mission “To prevent blindness and restore sight”. Founded in 1963 to address the backlog of cataract surgeries in India, we now have comprehensive eye health programs in eight countries- India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Liberia. 

When people suffer from poor eye health, their quality of life is diminished, and the cycle of poverty is perpetuated. Some of the common eye issues includes cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and uncorrected refractive error. As per the WHO –India contributes 21% of world’s blind population and 22% of world’s visually impaired population.  But sadly, upto 90% of these people are suffering from avoidable blindness, which means their condition can be treated or could have been prevented. OEI is addressing in eliminating the unaddressed disability, “blindness”. We partner with local governments and hospitals to ensure quality eye health care services are made available, accessible and affordable to those in need along with quality. In India, we are working with 35 partner hospitals, across 90 districts within 17 states, established 200 Vision Centers/Points and declared over 1,072 villages as avoidable blindness-free.


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