It's always exciting to see Seva's partner organizations grow into themselves, becoming self-sustaining providers of eye health in developing communities. But when one long-time Seva partner can help an up-and-coming provider tackle common challenges, it's downright inspiring. Such was the case earlier this year, when Seva's partners at Aravind Eye Care System were able to share their know-how with a burgeoning eye care program in Cambodia.
The Aravind Eye Care System in India is a long-time Seva partner. It comprises a system of hospitals, training programs and research activities. Mr. R. Meenakshi Sundaram more commonly known as Mr. RMS is the Senior Manager of Outreach at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. He has extensive experience in finding creative solutions to increase outreach and services for people in need. Mr. RMS travelled to Cambodia to share his expertise in this area.
In Cambodia, Seva works in five provinces with field workers who travel from village to village to identify people with visual impairment problems who might benefit from eye care services. Despite a robust outreach team and abundant capacity at government-run eye units, a lower-than-desired number of Cambodian patients were taking advantage of the services available to them.
Mr. RMS traveled to Cambodia to help Seva Cambodia staff and field workers, doctors, patients, and government officials tackle this challenge. He held outreach trainings and completed visits with field workers to communities to help inform his recommendations for improving outreach in Cambodia. This cross-cultural work illustrates the value of having in-country partners who can identify practical solutions rooted in their own local experiences. This approach is central to Seva's mission of building capacity in the countries where the organization is active.
Mr. RMS observed the screening by field workers at a community in Battambang.
Mr. Veasna, Ophthalmic Nurse, examined patients at Banssay Treng village in Battambang.