Lokana’s vision is to establish a comprehensive eye health program in the Chenchu communities in partnership with the Rural Development Trust.
Our focus is to provide high quality care for a vulnerable population by removing the many barriers to care (transportation, cost, lack of education). The first step of this process is to conduct comprehensive eye camps in the Chenchu villages.
A comprehensive camp is different than screening camps typically conducted by large eye hospitals/NGOs. Screening camps identify patients who need further exams without offering treatment – patients are told to go to an eye hospital that is often hours away, and most patients do not follow up. The focus is on identifying patients who need cataract surgery; often, other medical conditions or providing prescription eyeglasses are ignored.
In contrast, our comprehensive camps bring the technical personnel (optometrists, ophthalmologists) to the patients. We provide reading glasses to those in need on the spot (LINK: why reading glasses matter in poor communities). For those who need prescription glasses (LINK: Mahesh optical shop), we make eyeglasses for their unique power and, with the help of RDT, deliver these glasses to the villagers. Finally, patients who require surgery are transported to a surgical partner hospital where housing and food are provided, the surgery performed, and the patients are then transported back home.
Patient follow-up care is also held to the same standards as those in the US. We conduct post-operative eye exams at 1 day, 1 month, and 1 week afer surgery, and patients are provided eyedrops to prevent infection and speed up recovery. We also provide eyeglasses to those who require them after surgery. —- HSR