Welcome to Eyesight International Canada

 

More than 180 million people in the developing world are blind or visually impaired. Forty-five million people are completely blind and cannot walk unaided. Unless urgent action is taken, the number of visually disabled is expected to increase to 75 million by 2020.

Infection, malnutrition and lack of eye care rob people of their sight - and their quality of life. Blindness causes enormous human suffering for those affected, their families and their communities. Yet 4 out of 5 blind people have conditions for which there are successful treatments, widely available in the developed world..

Eyesight International's approach is to help developing countries build resources and skills so they can provide quality eye care over the long-term. We believe that effective long term solutions to blindness and visual impairment can only be found in locally sustainable programs, staffed and supported by the communities they serve.

Too often, where there are health care services available in the developing world, they are of poor quality and inefficiently delivered. Eyesight International's programs directly address these problems by ensuring that health care professionals at all levels have the training necessary to provide high quality care on a financially self-sustaining basis.

Our unique Leadership Training program identifies and prepares tomorrow's leaders. Our Eye Banking and Cornea Transplantation program promotes the development of high standards for corneal transplantation. Our Village Financed Eye Care Project, Rural Eye Care Project and our other Education and Training programs promote the delivery of high quality eye care through local self-sustaining eye care delivery models.

Please visit our other pages and Contact Us if you would like further information.

 

Recent News

Dr. Paul J. Dubord, the founder of Eyesight International (Canada), has been appointed the Medical Director of Operation Eyesight Universal, a leading Canadian non profit organization in the field of eye care. Mr. James Killam of Eyesight International (Canada) has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Operation Eyesight Universal. Eyesight International hopes to work with Operation Eyesight Universal on joint projects in the future.

In February, 2003, representatives of Eyesight International conducted a site review of its projects in India. In addition, meetings were held with the L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, the Venue Eye Institute and the Shroff Charity Eye Hospital to discuss future projects.

Also in February 2003, representatives of Eyesight International attended the Vision 2020 Task Force meeting in Geneva in conjunction with Operation Eyesight Universal.

To date, over 17,000 residents of selected rural villages in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India have registered in the CAFÉ project of Eyesight International. This unique project is using a modified health insurance model to bring eye care to people who currently have no access to services. Residents pay 1 rupee per month for comprehensive eye care. Over 5600 residents have been seen at the project hospital and over 570 sight restoring surgeries have been performed. For more information, see CAFÉ Project.

Training of the staff of our partner hospitals in Yacharam and Suryapet, India, through our Rural Eye Care Project has now been largely completed. Eyesight International, in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency, is working with the L. V. Prasad Eye Institute to transform two small and inefficient facilities into financially self-sustaining centres delivering high quality eye care to communities of about 500,000 each. To date the hospitals in Yacharam and Suryapet have seen over 33,000 patients. More than 1,780 surgeries have been performed. For more information, see Rural Eye Care Project.

 

 

World Blindness

Infections, malnutrition and lack of eye care in the developing world result in blindness rates 10 to 40 times greater than in industrial countries. And the situation is worsening: The number of visually disabled is expected to double by the year 2020.

Blindness and visual impairment is a preventable personal disaster that brings misery to millions, inflicting an enormous and unnecessary economic burden on families, communities and countries. In 1998, the World Health Organization estimated the direct economic cost of the global burden of blindness to be $25 billion; the total cost, borne almost entirely by the developing world, may be closer to $50 or even $75 billion.

The tragedy is that 80% of the cases of blindness and visual impairment could be avoided or cured at modest cost. Avoiding and curing blindness is recognized as one of the most cost effective health interventions.

At least half of those who are already blind can be cured with medical procedures that are widely available in the developed world. Increasing the availability and quality of corneal transplantation could cure even more. However, despite many programs, a self-sustaining approach to reduce the incidence of blindness and low vision has not yet materialized on a significant scale. To permanently reduce blindness, programs must be developed which can ultimately be sustained by the communities they serve.

There are many areas of the developing world where there are no eye care services available. In addition, where services are available in the developing world, they are often of poor quality and inefficiently delivered. For example, a recent study by one of the Eyesight International Group's partners, the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute of Hyderabad, India and the University of Melbourne identified that over 50% of cataract surgeries performed in an urban area of Andhra Pradesh had poor or very poor outcomes. This results in a reluctance to seek care, even when it is available.

To overcome these barriers, high quality services must be developed, low quality services must be eliminated, outreach programs must be established and self-sustaining financial structures must be implemented with the support of the communities they serve. These are the goals of the Eyesight International Group.