In 2018, Vision-Aid formed a partnership with Aravind Eye Hospitals in Madurai. In January of 2019 the Vision-Aid resource center was formally launched at Aravind Hospital. Some great work has since been done at the resource center since then. Here are some hightlights of the latest strides made at the center.
Camp for special school Children
95 children from three schools, for children with special needs, were screened with funding from the Vision-Aid programs at Aravind, in the past quarter. Vision-Aid was able to complete comprehensive ocular and functional vision assessment for all children. 14 children were provided with eye-glasses and 26 children were referred to Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai for further evaluation. Children who had cognitive visual dysfunction were recommended with various strategies based on the functional vision assessment.
Low Vision Clinic at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai
143 individuals with low vision were screened at the Vision-Aid resource center at Aravind, Madurai, of whom 58 were provided with optical or electronic magnification devices.
Vision Enhancement program for infants
14 children/infants with profound visual impairment were newly enrolled in the vision enhancement program at the Vision Rehabilitation center, Aravind Eye Hospital Madurai under the umbrella of Vision-Aid’s project. In this quarter a total of 38 children benefitted from the vision enhancement program. A total of 147 individual one-on-one sessions were held for the children with the rehab staff.
Computer training was provided for 16 individual with visual impairment during July to September 2019)at Vision Rehabilitation Centre, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. 5 paid for their training and 11 were funded by Vision-Aid. These patients learnt to use Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) software and to work with Microsoft word and Excel. The patients spent 7 hours in a day with the trainer. Each patient completed 5 days training. They were provided teaching material like NVDA manual and were guided to download the special software in their computer / Laptop.
Orientation & Mobility
The basic mobility technique with white cane was taught to 24 people with profound visual impairment at Vision rehabilitation Centre, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai of these 12 were funded by Vision-Aid for O & M training.
Strengthening low vision service in other Satellite Hospital and Increasing referrals
It is generally estimated that around 1% of the total population suffers from vision impairment. This percentage is bound to be several folds higher in a tertiary eye care center. However the number of patients availing low vision services at this time, is considerably lower than the anticipated demand. A major reason for this may be paucity of referrals from specialty consultants. Towards increasing referrals, Dr.P.Vijayalakshmi who heads the pediatric and low vision functions at Aravind, organized the following strategies at Aravind eye care system, this quarter.
Awareness and Training workshop for all satellite locations
26 participants from 5 Tertiary canters and 4 Secondary centers of Aravind eye care system participated in the 2 days’ workshop on “Strengthening Aravind’s low vision service”. The objective of this workshop was to understand the current services provided to the visually challenged and to develop the road map / strategies for the way forward. Each hospital participated with their team on Magnitude estimation, Demand Generation, Human resource and Infrastructure & equipment and presented their present scenario, challenges, needs and suggestions. The expert panel comprising Dr. P. Namperumalsamy, Dr. P. Vijayalakshmi , Dr. Sarfaraz khan and Dr. R. D. Ravindran put forth their views and shared experiences and ways to improve low vision services.
Public Workshop in Chennai
In continuation of strengthening low vision service, Vision-Aid will also be organizing one day workshop on 20th October in the Chennai Aravind Eye hospital on ”Enhancing low vision”.
To increase the potential referral from the regular outpatient department, Vision-Aid had an hour session on “Right to sight for the visually challenged” which was very much appreciated. All consultants, chiefs, post graduates and staff from other Aravind hospitals also joined the session.
Digital Teaching Training program
Dr. Vijayalakshmi was invited as a guest speaker for the “Digital Teaching Training Programme” on 27th of September 2019. Teachers with visual impairment from all over the country, working in normal school with sighted children participated in the workshop to develop their ability in the field of digital Technology.
Vision-Aid is proud to partner with Aravind, a global leader in the field of eye care, in driving programs which help the visually impaired live with independence and dignity. VIsion-Aid looks forward to continued growth and expansion in these programs in coming months and thanks their donors who enable these valuable programs.