Uday R. Gajiwala on behalf of Divyajyoti Trust, India
Bringing door-to-door screening for glaucoma, diabetes and hypertension to the Surat district of India, as part of a community-based rehabilitation program
Umarpada and Mangrol Taluka are rural, tribal areas of the Surat district of India, where the majority of people are living in poverty with little access to eye care services. Given a significant burden of ocular conditions such as glaucoma, many residents of Umarpada and Mangrol Taluka are at high risk of developing sight loss without adequate screening and treatment.
This project, the first of its kind in India, aims to deliver glaucoma screening directly to individuals in Umarpada and Mangrol Taluka, whilst also identifying those at risk of other systemic illnesses, including diabetes and hypertension, which can harm not only the eyes but the whole body.
Fully-trained, community-based rehabilitation (CBR) workers will visit rural communities to carry out urine and blood sugar tests, and measure intraocular pressure and blood pressure. The CBR program will also help to create awareness of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the community by developing and distributing educational materials. Referrals and subsequent treatments for these conditions will be offered at a subsidized rate or free of charge to residents.
Overall, it is hoped that this outreach screening project will facilitate the referral and treatment of over 67,000 individuals who would otherwise have limited or no access to eye care services. If successful, the project will have a significant impact on the number of individuals receiving interventional eye care treatment and potentially avoiding permanent sight loss.