India, Kolkata: Childhood blindness
Himadri Datta on behalf of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Kolkata, India

Aim

Working with non-governmental organizations (NGO) to manage visual impairment and improve sight in the street children of Kolkata and its suburbs

The project

India has the world's largest burden of childhood blindness; it is estimated that 320,000 children under the age of 16 are blind. Over 100,000 children live on the streets of Kolkata and its suburbs, and have no access to health care.

This project aims to establish a mobile ophthalmic screening center by procuring a van and equipping it with ophthalmic instruments. Spectacles will be provided to the children who required them, free of charge. Children who require further examination or treatment will be referred to the NGO facilities or the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, where they will receive the appropriate eye care for free.

Update

In total, 329 patients in 11 roadside camps around Kolkata have been examined, and spectacles have been provided to children with refractive errors, as well as treatment provided for cases of conjunctivitis, chalazion, stye and other conditions. Two patients with congenital glaucoma have been referred to hospital. This program is establishing an effective system so that the street children can receive proper eye treatment without attending a hospital.

Last update September 2013.