- Category: Global Eye Care
Why is vision centre development so important?
In many developing communities where lack of access to a basic eye care facility can mean a life of unnecessary vision impairment and potentially other associated health, economic and social problems, a conveniently located vision centre can be a life changing intervention.
A main component of our service development strategy is the creation of vision centres as permanent facilities, providing affordable and culturally appropriate eye care services for local communities. We make them fully operational by refurbishing buildings and sourcing reliable equipment and spectacle supplies.
Vision centres especially target people with uncorrected refractive error (the need for glasses), offering a range of services that include eye examinations and low vision assessments. However, they also provide a critical opportunity to assess the persons overall eye health, and possibility of eye disease or more complicated ocular conditions, in which case referrals for appropriate treatment - to a hospital or ophthalmologist for example - are offered. They also promote good eye health practices.
The centres aim to be sustainable and include cost-recovery mechanisms that help ensure financial independence over time. They provide local people with training and employment opportunities, contributing to local capacity and enhancing health care systems.
The countries and regions in which we work are amazingly diverse so often an approach which works well in one location doesn’t necessarily succeed in another. We rely on our epidemiological research to inform us of the best approach in a particular region and operational research evaluates the program’s progress over time.
Working in partnership with the public sector and other organisations, the Foundation has helped establish vision centres in locations such as Ghana, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Nigeria and Australia. For more about our work in these countries visit Where We Work.
The Foundation’s approach to creating a long-term, sustainable solution to global eye care need has to be supported by a multifaceted strategy including our four key pillars human resource development and education, serivce development, research and social enterprise.