Out of the 2.5 billion people in the world who need vision correction, 95% of them live in emerging countries. In India alone, uncorrected poor vision accounts for more than 500 million people. However, simple measures can be found in order to fight against poor vision and reach people in the smaller cities of India.
Considering that affordable and accessible eye care is a challenge in rural areas, Essilor’s inclusive business division, the 2.5 New Vision Generation (NVG), started the Mobile Refraction Van Project (MRVP) in 2006, in association with most of the renowned Eye Hospitals in India. 2.5 NVG is now launching a new MRV with the Drishti Eye Hospital.
The Mobile Refraction Van (MRV), which will be attached to the Channapatana unit of the Dhristi Eye Hospital, is fitted with state-of-the-art instruments for providing holistic eye care including on-the-spot spectacle dispensing. The MRV will travel to rural areas with a team of optometrists, ophthalmologists and other support staff to conduct eye screening camps. During these camps, the team will offer a comprehensive free eye examination for all people coming to the MRV and also provide spectacles at affordable prices to those requiring vision correction.
Patients who are in need of further clinical support will be referred to the base hospital in Channapatana. People in the age category of 60 years and above that can’t afford to pay for their eye operations, will be offered free-of-charge surgery, supported through grants.
“This project will provide comprehensive eye-care services to a larger section of Indian people living in rural areas and is truly aligned with our mission to improve lives by improving sight,” said Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Chief Corporate Mission Officer, Essilor International. “Essilor’s recent announcement of the creation of the Vision For Life™ strategic-giving program will furthermore support all initiatives that help drive the socio-economic development of emerging countries by targeting poor vision through awareness-raising, capacity-building and the creation of basic vision care infrastructure.“