Joseph Eye Hospital was the pioneer to Introduce the concept of “Eye camps” in 60’s through which eye care services were taken to the doorsteps of the community. By this strategy several thousands of rural people who do not have any accessibility to the quality eye care services are served.Every year JEH organizes about 500 camps. Means in any given day there will be a camp being conducted by JEH elsewhere.
Purpose of Eye Camps
The prime purpose of conducting eye camps is to provide high volume, high quality and low cost eye care service to the rural population of the target area, through mobile camp approach that are accessible, affordable and appropriate. Since Cataract being the leading cause of blindness the focus of our camps is with identifying and treating cases with cataract. The service also includes providing correction for refractive errors, treating diseases like ulcers, and referring patients to the base hospital who need institutional investigations and management (patients with Glaucoma, Retinopathy, etc).
Objectives of Eye Camps
To identify people with cataract and make available for surgical treatment for sight restoration
To screen people for refractive error problems
To screen for other major causes of vision impairment and to provide treatment for minor ailments or to refer base hospital for further management
To market the services of the Base Hospital
To make Eye care community oriented
How a Camp is organized
The Hospital maintains a comprehensive database that gives information about the target areas. The camp department maintains significant cooperation with NGOs like Lions clubs, Rotary clubs, local authorities of various villages and towns. Using this network a strategic location is identified and its demography is analyzed. Camps are organized at radius of 30 to 200 Kilometers (10-125 miles).As most of our camps are conducted with the support of sponsors, the propaganda and camp day arrangements are made by our sponsors.
On the camp day a team of doctors, refractionists, lab technicians and assistants proceed to the camp spot.Patients identified with Cataract are selected and transported for the hospital. During their stay, food, accommodation, cost of surgery, medicines and transportation are given at free of cost. The whole process takes about three days.For affordable and affluent patients from the rural areas coming through camps who need some sophistication and higher end procedures like Phaco, a special concessional packages are provided.
SCHOOL SCREENING CAMPS
Uncorrected refractive errors are an important cause of impairment of vision. It is estimated that 36% of the children will have high refractive error in India. Screening school children, identifying visually defective children and providing treatment are not only simple method of intervention and highly cost effective but also most rewarding one.
Presently about 50,000 students are screened annually and in future JEH aims to increase it to 1 million through a network approach.Schools within our target area are routinely screened and students identified with refractive errors are provided spectacles at a subsidized cost.