Sustainable Source of Eye Care Consumables
India is the country with the highest prevalence of blindness and is also the home of Combat Blindness International’s very first project. When we started in 1984, we focused almost exclusively on bringing mobile eye camps into villages. During these camps, people would receive vision screenings (some for the very first time in their lives), and then those who needed surgery would receive it right there in the camps. The surgeries took only minutes and cost less than $10. Our patients would have their cataracts removed and then receive thick lens glasses that would allow them to see. But the system wasn’t perfect. If a person lost or broke their glasses, they were once again left blind. The problem was that intraocular lenses (the clear lens that’s inserted into the eye during surgery that allows people to see without glasses) cost hundreds of dollars – far too much money to be used widely for patients who couldn’t pay. So, in 1992, Combat Blindness International partnered with two other like-minded organizations and found Aurolab. Aurolab is the manufacturing division of the highly-respected Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. Aurolab began producing intraocular lenses and provided those lenses to us at a cost of roughly $2. With these low-cost lenses, Combat Blindness International’s medical partners were able to provide the same surgeries to their poorest patients that were previously only possible on those who could pay. The results are remarkable. After a simple surgery, men, women and children are able to spend their lives with clear vision without the need for glasses that could be lost or broken. To this day, we still help provide low cost cataract surgeries for the poor, however the price has increased over the years since we first started using Intraocular Lenses. We are proud to state that through our strong partnerships, we can still keep them affordable. For as low as $25 a person can have their sight restored in just 24 hours.
- India>Tamil Nadu