A note from Seva's Executive Director about COVID-19
Seva Foundation works with hospitals, professionals, paraprofessionals, and vision care organizations in more than 20 countries worldwide. Each and every one of these has been affected in one way or another by the global coronavirus pandemic. We are proud to say that our partners have been proactive in implementing measures to limit the spread of the virus. Here are a few examples of our partners working to keep their patients, staff, and broader communities healthy:
Bharatpur Eye Hospital (Nepal) is providing consultations and prescribing medications by telephone. The hospital is providing emergency services only in order to limit the number of people coming into the facility.
Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital (India) is using the WhatsApp platform for patient consultation. A few centralized phone numbers are available to the patient for sharing the problem and picture of the eye. They have also developed and implemented a structured process for patient and doctor consultations in a brief to share with other hospitals.
Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya (India) is distributing awareness-raising posters throughout its home city of Chitrakoot. An outpatient department has been established to help coronavirus patients. Many staff members have begun working remotely. The hospital is currently seeing only emergency patients with eye-related issues. They have also established a community kitchen for people left without food during India’s nationwide lockdown.
Angkor Hospital for Children (Cambodia) is strengthening hygiene awareness and practice, to prevent patients from catching COVID-19 and other diseases. The hospital team provides daily demonstrations on how people can wash their hands effectively. Staff requires all patients and caretakers to sanitize their hands before and after entering the clinic.
LV Prasad Eye Institute and Aravind Eye Care System (both in India) have released highly practical step by step guides for keeping patients and health care providers safe when providing essential eye care services. These tips include DIY masks and protective shields to make emergency eye care services safer for everyone.
Seva sponsored the training of eye hospital staff from Nepal, Cambodia, and India is continuing by popular demand. Now virtual, the training sessions prepare staff to return to full-scale service delivery with newly sharpened skills.
"Seva Foundation had an eye on COVID-19 since January 2020 when I invited Dr. Larry Brilliant, Seva co-founder, and former WHO Smallpox program worker, to give a webinar to colleagues from around the world. Seva Foundation's roots are in the smallpox program of the 1970s, as many of Seva founders worked in this successful global campaign. These roots have informed Seva's evidence-based approach for over 40 years in our eye health work with partners in 20 countries."
– Kate Moynihan
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