Blindness Prevention Program, Sri Lanka

The staging of 9 eye screening, refraction and surgery camps that will provide eye examinations to a total of 4, 500 poor people, prescribe glasses to 2, 250 visually impaired people and perform blindness prevention cataract surgery for 405 people. Services will be provided at no cost to beneficiaries.

The Fondation H&B Agerup has provided IRIS with a grant of CHF 29,600 to finance a program of 9 eye screening, refraction and surgery camps for impoverished tea plantation workers on estates in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Since IRIS started working in Sri Lanka in August 2005, they have supported the Ministry of Health’s Avoidable Blindness programme by providing all the ophthalmic equipment needed to establish 5 new eye clinics in Mahiyangana, Balapitiya, Embilipitiya, Kantale and Dickoya, where newly appointed ophthalmologists will each perform 1,500 blindness prevention surgeries a year. IRIS has also funded new ophthalmic equipment at 16 existing government eye clinics and supported eye screening, refraction and surgery programs throughout the country through partnerships established with the Eyecare Foundation of Sri Lanka, Rotary, Inner Wheel and Zonta clubs and a number of tea plantation companies.

During 2012, in partnership with the Foundation for Improvement of Sight & Health and the Lions Gift of Sight Hospital, IRIS staged 48 community eye screening, refraction and surgery camps throughout Sri Lanka, resulting in 20,931 poor people having eye examinations, 9,686 receiving glasses free-of-charge to correct vision impairment and 2,658 people having sight restoration surgery to remove cataracts.

By end December 2012, IRIS eye screening, refraction and surgery programs have resulted in 96,814 poor people receiving eye examinations, 49,847 people receiving glasses free-of-charge and 42,641 people undergoing surgery to restore their sight.