The college had organised eye camps for special groups, and helped generate eye care awareness among close to 5,000 people
World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness towards eye and vision care, promoted by the World Health Organisation and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. It is observed on the second Thursday of October every year to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.
The theme given this year by WHO was ‘No More Avoidable Blindness’ and all eye care organisations were encouraged to promote this theme. Lotus College of Optometry is always proactive in community eye care and advocacy. Taking this clue from WHO, week long activities were planned along with the faculty and students of the college, culminating with WSD. The activities for the week organised were eye camps for special focus groups on each of the days. On October 6th and & 7th, an eye camp was conducted for the employees of the ISKCON temple in Juhu. On October 9th, 2014 the focus group was conservancy workers of Mumbai in Govandi. This population works very hard to ensure that the people of Mumbai have clean streets and unblocked drains and cleared garbage. On October 10th and October 11th, the focus was diabetic retinopathy screening. The two focus groups served were a slum community in Vile Parle East and daily wages or nakka workers in Khar (suburb of Mumbai). With an aim to make these camps sustainable, the team delivered eye and vision care services to corporate executives of Johnson and Johnson, Mumbai, on October 8th. Along with focus groups, the college’s routine outreach centres were also operational reaching out to the underprivileged population of Mumbai, thus living up to their slogan of Mumbai Eye Care Campaign – ‘Mumbai Dekhega… India Badehga’.
Generating awareness on the need for regular eye examinations is an important aspect of World Sight Day. Towards this, the college had decorated Lotus Eye Hospital and College with banners and balloons with eye care messages. Prior to the camps and during the week, counselling of patients, attenders and the general public was done with the help of street plays, displaying posters, banners and brochure distribution at offices of general physicians, diabetologists and leading opticians of the city. Besides service delivery to 794 people, the College generated awareness with these activities among close to 5,000 people.
The impact of this activity was three fold; service delivery, awareness generation and competencies training for young optometry undergraduates. All the needy patients were referred to Lotus Eye Hospital and they will be provided eye care free or at subsidised rates. The activity also inculcated a sense of responsibility and pride for Optometry in the young eye care professionals of tomorrow.