Green Vision Centres in West Bengal

Orbis has collaborated with USAID to bring the community, especially children, of West Bengal sustainable primary eye care services.

Through our partner hospital, Susrut Eye Foundation & Research Centre, we decided to extend our ongoing work in West Bengal by expanding the hospital’s primary eye care network.

Orbis brought forth the concept of Green Vision Centre (GVC) to provide a responsible route to provision of primary eye care to the community. The initiative is part of our goal to further equip and strengthen vision centres in areas where electric supply is not reliable and intermittent.

GVCs are established considering the following points:

  • convenient location directly within the community,
  • optimal platform for screening children with eye diseases at an early stage,
  • provide remedial measures,
  • timely referrals,
  • use of digital data management software,
  • less consumption of paper,
  • use of LEDs and less power consuming equipment,
  • renewable solar energy system.

Additionally, under the project undertaken with the USAID grant, we will also support women in the community and ensure the training of female health care providers to address local eye care needs. In that regard, electric bikes for transport needs of the women Vision Technicians have also been made.

The GVC concept helps create permanent access to primary eye care services for the children and communities at an affordable cost. Further, GVC fees for adult eye services will help to subsidize paediatric eye care.

The five vision centres that we had hoped to run this year were delayed by the COVID second wave which led to a prolonged and unanticipated lockdown in the state.

However, the Susrut team under the project, did not give up. They relentlessly tried to work out a safe and effective plan to continue the groundwork leading to the opening of the five vision centres.

Given the unprecedented times, it is difficult to continue the crucial work that is in the hands of the eye care community. However, it did not deter the Susrut team from finding a way forward and continue the good work they had initiated in April 2021 before the COVID second wave adversely affected India. Before we can really have the community come to the GVCs to access services, we need to be prepared. The GVCs established are COVID protocol compliant, they are well-equipped and they have uninterrupted service mechanism since they are powered by solar energy. It is only a matter of time until the lockdown is lifted, and our partners are ready to serve the community.

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