There are millions in the world living in darkness, and not enough trained professionals who can provide care. Those who are qualified to provide care are unequally distributed and inadequately utilized. Sixty-eight percent of countries are home to only five percent of the world’s ophthalmologists, and these are usually concentrated in major cities, leaving a vast majority of people without access to eye care professionals.
But training enough new ophthalmologists to meet the rapidly growing need is neither economically nor practically feasible.
Introducing Seva’s Drivers for Success: Training and Job Creation.
Seva focuses on a two-pronged approach, aligned with recommendations by the World Health Organization and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
First, we rapidly scale up the training and utilization of ophthalmic support staff. They can address the most basic eye health conditions at the primary care level, and refer patients who need more advanced care to ophthalmologists. This greatly reduces the workload for ophthalmologists, who can now focus on more advanced and severe cases.
Training ophthalmic support staff is also more cost- and time-effective than training ophthalmologists. Thousands of jobs are created in the process, having a multifold impact on the community.
Second, we improve the utilization of existing eye care personnel and systems, by training and mentoring teams of eye health providers for design, management and implementation of eye care programs. By leveraging our global network of eye care institutions and experts, and supporting a variety of strategic training initiatives, Seva continues to develop sustainable programs that bring high-quality, affordable eye care to the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Help us build sustainable eye care programs to serve the most vulnerable communities.
Vision Centers are local permanent establishments that can address up to 80% of all eye care needs. They make basic eye care accessible to a community, no matter how remote, while also spreading awareness and serving as the foundation of a larger global referral network.
Technology is utilized and developed throughout our programs to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of outreach initiatives, vision screenings, hospital flow, complex surgical procedures, and to multiply the efforts of in-demand eye care specialists around the world.
Eye Care for Children focuses on providing kids with comprehensive pediatric eye care. Awareness building and eye screening services are embedded into schools and communities, developing referral networks so that children get the care they need to thrive.
Training and Jobs Creation expands access to eye care by scaling up the training and use of ophthalmic support staff and developing sustainable programs which create jobs for local women and men and stimulate the economy in their communities.
Sustainable eye care programs can only develop if there is training at every level of eye care from the community health volunteer to the highly skilled ophthalmologist. Seva Foundation supports a variety of strategic training initiatives to increase knowledge sharing among eye hospitals across the globe.
Dr. Marty Spencer recently traveled to Instituto Mexicano de Oftalmología in Querétaro, Mexico to teach additional doctors to perform sight-saving surgeries. This training will increase capacity to address the surgical backlog and end needless blindness that affects so many people throughout Latin America. Watch Seva's featured video to learn how your support is making a difference.
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