Estimated duration
11 years
Estimated total value
PBMA HV Desai Eye Hospital; Aravind Eye Care System; International Eye Foundation; Susan Dell; Vivekananda Mission Association Netra; Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya; Michael S. Dell; Visualiza; Lumbini Eye Institute; Divino Nino Jesus School; Kilimanjaro Center For Community Ophthalmology; Dr. Shroff's Charity Eye Hospital; L. V. Prasad Eye Institute; Seva Foundation

So One Million Eyes See Again


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 (). 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 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.

Progress Update

March 2016

With the acceleration of the initiative, Seva and partners have attracted financial support in excess of $5 million including a new collaboration with Seeing is Believing through Standard Chartered Bank. There has been a growth in the number of mentors, mentees, countries, and cataract surgeries as more mentor level institutions have joined the network. As of December 2015, the number of ‘mentoring’ eye centers and collaborating partners increased to 12. The number of hospitals being mentored (mentees) has grown to 53 with an additional 37 hospitals to be added in 2016, representing a 41% growth rate. The GSI network reached 16 countries serving a catchment population exceeding 150 million people. Thus far, participating mentee eye hospitals have performed more than 363,000 additional cataract surgeries above baseline.

New strategies to strengthen services and sustainability have been implemented. The hospitals in this initiative are unique in that they serve the entire community, rich and poor, train and employ hundreds of local staff, and provide transparent affordable pricing for quality services. Services are provided free for those who cannot afford to pay and a special emphasis has been placed on reaching women and children in particular.

Newly improved hospitals have taken up leading roles in assisting, then more formally mentoring underperforming eye hospitals to increase productivity and efficiency. Within the past year, one mentee transitioned into being a mentor institution. A case study of the mentor institution, Visualiza, showed that some mentees with strong leadership and regional interests can be groomed to become mentors from the beginning. This process transformation from mentee to mentor has greatly accelerated the growth within the GSI program.

Finally, sharing lessons learned across the mentor network has been significant. In 2015, Seva circulated six newsletters to facilitate shared lessons; conducted action planning with mentors to update their priorities moving forward; and through that process, identified common areas for shared learning.

Partnership Opportunities

Request expertise from volunteers knowledgeable in management, leadership development, HR development and messaging and branding of GSI. Seeking funding support to fund partner hospitals to implement change process with mentee hospitals

NOTE: This Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action is made, implemented, and tracked by the partners listed. CGI is a program dedicated forging new partnerships, providing technical support, and elevating compelling models with potential to scale. CGI does not directly fund or implement these projects.