Through this commitment, Seva is launching the "Global Sight Network," which will build the capacity of leading eye care hospitals in developing nations, who will then train and mentor ophthalmic service providers in their regions. In doing so, it hopes to help 100+ underperforming service providers bring quality and sustainable eye care services to the doorsteps of rural communities.
The first phase of work (2009-2011) will strengthen the quality and capacity of eye care education, technology, and research at partner centers ($10M). Subsequent phases will scale innovations in sustainable community eye care for the 100+ hospitals.
Throughout 2009-2015, Seva will lead the coalition and raise funds to fortify the Global Sight Network's capacity to:
- Develop eye care workforce and leadership-especially with women: This comprehensive workforce initiative includes postgraduate clinical and management training at Network partner locations for 500+ eye doctors and 2,000+ highly skilled ophthalmic nurses.
- Transform 100+ community eye care facilities through business development: Each Network partner will guide an average of 10 hospitals through the process of adapting sustainable eye care methods successfully co-developed by Seva and partners over the last 30 years.
- Build in smart technology and apply innovative research: The Network will be powered by increased use of advanced information and communications technologies for on-line and print medical libraries, web-based benchmarking, telemedicine and distance learning. Intel Corporation has committed to provide ten Rural Connectivity Platform (RCP) Units, architecture expertise, and $10K towards support, maintenance and training in the first year.
- Develop regional and global advocacy to advance awareness of eye health and gender equity.
- Seva will provide direct assistance to at least 17 hospitals while also supporting innovations that promote social change throughout the Network. This influx of comprehensive support will transform underperforming hospitals into well-managed, quality eye units that serve rural communities.
Blindness affects more than 45 million people (30 million women), yet 80% is preventable or treatable. Forty-five million people in the world are blind - two-thirds of whom are women. Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness despite the fact that a simple 15-minute surgical procedure can restore sight immediately. Such treatment is life-transforming. Most patients resume wage-earning activities immediately after surgery, earning on average 15 times the cost of the surgery in the first post-operative year. According to the World Bank, cataract surgery is among the most cost-effective health interventions in developing nations.
Unfortunately, poor quality of service, and the high cost of treatment and transportation to distant facilities prevent the majority of the world's blind from receiving care. This commitment seeks to address some of these challenges.
Seva is a leading innovator of sustainable healthcare and community development programs serving the world's most vulnerable populations, especially women, girls and those living in rural areas. In the past year alone, Seva's pioneering, results-driven, and comprehensive approach has helped healthcare partners perform over 500,000 eye surgeries and screen over three million people for eye health. Seva's CGI commitment supports the World Health Organization's VISION 2020 goals to end avoidable blindness by the year 2020.
The Global Sight Network seeks resources and partnerships including:
Financial resources to fund mentors visits to mentee eye hospitals, make tactical equipment purchases and support community outreach programs for mentee hospitals.
Telemedicine expertise and support to build upon Intel's original grant to link mentee eye hospitals with their satellite eye units.
Training expertise and funding to scale up quantum and quality of training for all levels of mentee hospital staff with emphasis on training of women as ophthalmologists, ophthalmic assistants, and managers.
Monitoring & evaluation expertise to assist team members in framing and conducting practical assessments of what is working and how to improve.
Media support in terms of print, video and online to make resource materials generated through this initiative available to more members of the global health community and to increase visibility of the work.