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L V Prasad Eye Institute & Standard Chartered partner to improve eye care delivery

Hyderabad's L V Prasad Eye Institute has launched two programmes with Standard Chartered to improve eye care delivery. The idea is to use technology to improve the availability and quality of services.

The evolution of technology and changing eye care situation enhances the possibility of scaling up primary eye care services by leveraging technology. This has led to L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Hyderabad to launch a model in collaboration with Standard Chartered.

The model is called Primary Eye care Vision Centre or Futuristic Vision Centre and it extends the scope of existing vision centres. This LVPEI innovation aims to target detection of chronic eye conditions that are currently beyond the realm of primary eye care and could bring about a major change in the delivery of eye care at the primary level.

The main aim of the Vision Centre is to provide basic eye care. This includes detecting common blinding eye conditions, correction of refractive errors and appropriate referral of complex cases to the next level. At present, the LVPEI vision centre network is made up of 180 primary centres in four states - Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Karnataka.

Under the collaboration, there are plans to set up 58 such centres across these states from 2019 to 2023. Nearly one million people will benefit every year through these centres.

Each technology-enabled vision centre is expected to examine 5,000 patients per annum. More importantly, close to 20% of those who are currently being referred, need not be referred, as enhanced services are available in the vision centre itself. This is expected to not only expedite eye care delivery at the primary level, but also bring about a substantial indirect cost saving to the patients and to the community at large. -Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder- Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute

Another programme relates to the goal of developing a high quality, pan-India eye care education framework to address high numbers of vision impairment in India. The project aims to build an innovative model for high quality eye care education that can be replicated. About 20,000 eye care experts will benefit through the various training programmes offered under the project and it will generate jobs for young, underprivileged people.

The project will be able to provide quality eye health services to over 3.6 million people.

A public health crisis, vision impairment affects over 250 million people across the world. 90% of them live in developing countries, where healthcare resources and infrastructure are limited. One of the ways this could be tackled is widespread availability of high-quality facilities for eye care.

"The scarcity of well-trained eye care personnel of all cadres being a major barrier to the elimination of avoidable blindness, the Standard Chartered - LVPEI Programme for Eye Care Education envisages building a programme to create an empowered workforce of high-quality eye care professionals to meet the eye care needs to combat blindness and visual impairment in India", said Karuna Bhatia, Head of Sustainability, Standard Chartered Bank, India. "A concurrent objective is to provide professional careers to youth from disadvantaged communities."

With the help of its team of ophthalmic educators, LVPLEI aims to change existing training programmes in a big way and create new training offerings, develop a resource centre at Hyderabad for capacity building to train all levels of eye care professionals, and strengthen continuing medical and non-medical education.

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