This visit built the foundation for subsequent eye camps. I visited the central Chenchu villages along the Srisailam-Dornala road starting in my once-home village of Thummalabailu. In re-connecting with people I once knew, I asked about what access they have to eye care currently. I learned that in the forest areas themselves, there is no eye care. Screening eye camps have occasionally been held, but no one could provide any specifics on who organized them or when. The main system in place in this area was the eye centers of the world-class LVPrasad Eye Institute (LVPEI). These are organized into primary eye centers (eyeglasses, vision screening), secondary eye centers ( Just outside the forest, in Dornala, there is an LVPrasad Primary eye center. In this center, an ophthalmic technician performs refraction and a basic eye exam – anyone who has eye disease that can’t be addressed with glasses is sent to the secondary center. I also met the leadership and medical staff at the LVP secondary eye center in Markapuram. Several villagers came to me with eye problems, and to see the system in action, I took them to the LVP eye centers and watched them taken through the system with efficiency and respect. Later, in Hyderabad, I met Dr. Rohit Khanna, associate director at the main LVPEI and head of their rural outreach programs. In the villages, I inquired about which NGOs are helping the Chenchus most, and the answer always came back to the Rural Development Trust (RDT). I went to meet the Field Director? Mr. Rafiq and was impressed by his enthusiasm to partner with us. They already had run successful screening camps for women’s health and general medicine. RDT has an established community health worker program and have identified women from each to receive training to be health advocates in their communities. We diagrammed a rough plan of villages for the first round of eye camps. He graciously offered both medical and non-medical support staff (vehicles, administrative staff).
$0.00 donated of $7,000.00 goal
This visit and subsequent discussions built the foundation for subsequent eye camps