Reaching Out to Excluded Communities

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Key Facts
2015-16

Distance and affordability together with a lack of awareness are the main deterrents in people not being able to avail of eye care services even when the treatment is available. At IGEHRC, efforts are continually made to reach out to marginalised sections of the society including rural, socio-economically weaker sections, and women that lack access to quality eye care services, through a system of outreach camps where patients are given primary eye care, screened and sent to the base hospitals for further treatment, including surgery.

The outreach programme aims to provide heavily subsidised curative, preventive and rehabilitative care to the community along with information, education and communication (IEC) programmes to boost service delivery to potential patients in the community. Collaboration with and support of community leaders as well as non-governmental and community-based organisations are important aspects of the outreach programme framework.

Local communities, through community mobilisers, play a crucial role in mobilising the communities and bringing in the patients requiring eye care. Embedded in the same communities, these community mobilisers are very active in referring patients who need immediate eye care treatment. The strategy enables IGEHRC to reach out to and provide treatment at a subsidised cost to those who are unable to access or afford eye care.

Each outreach eye camp follows a well-established procedure: