Organisations active in India

Eyecare Worldwide
Bloemendaalseweg 163
2061 CJ Bloemendaal
Tel:023 - 529 00 73
Fax:023 - 547 17 93

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 15
2060 AA Bloemendaal

Eyecare Worldwide helps address the major socio-economic problem of unnecessary blindness.

According to the World Health Organisation estimates there are 50,000,000 blind people waiting for help. Most of them live in developing countries, their blindness being the result of poor hygiene, primitive housing conditions, an unbalanced diet and a lack of proper medical facilities. Their number increases by many thousands each year. One of the main causes of this blindness is cataract: a clouding of the lens that slowly leads to permanent blindness if nothing is done about it. Other major causes are optic nerve disorders, and retina and cornea disorders.

The Dutch Foundation Eyecare Worldwide was set up in 1984, and was first known as ‘Eye camp Himalaya’, and later as ‘Eye Care Himalaya’. The foundation aims to prevent and fight eye disorders in developing countries. Since 2001 the sphere of activity has expanded across the boundaries of the Himalayan region into other Asian countries and beyond. For instance, Eyecare Worldwide now also support projects in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Ghana.

Eyecare Worldwide help is aimed at the development of durable eye care structures. To realise this, they finance eye camps, support training, and see to the construction and alteration of hospitals and eye care centres, including the purchase of equipment and instruments.

Eyecare Worldwide in India
In India Eyecare Worldwide has been active in Leh since the second half of the nineties. A number of eye camps were organised from the Mahabodhi Karuna Charitable Hospital in the capital Leh.

Since August 2004, Eyecare Worldwide supports a mobile eye measurement clinic in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. A minibus that travels the countryside periodically and at regular intervals to perform eye examinations, issue prescriptions for spectacle glasses and sell spectacles.

There are good programmes for cataract operations in India, but the problems of loss of vision that can be remedied with spectacles get hardly any attention. Also in the countryside of Rajasthan, where the majority of the people live, there are no opticians or optometrists; they live and work in the city of Jodhpur, and can therefore not be reached by the poor. Moreover, spectacles are very expensive. As a result, the people either remain blind or they purchase inferior spectacles which are not suitable for their eyes, so that they end up seeing even less. A service provided by basic eye care with a fast delivery of cheap spectacles is exactly what is needed.

When an examination shows that a patient needs an eye operation, the patient is referred to the Tarabai Desai Hospital in Jodhpur, the base of the eye measurement project, and is treated for free. The profits made on the sold spectacles go toward the cost of eye operations. Eyecare Worldwide has promised to support this five-year plan which will be of benefit to the poorest among the poor in this district.

For information please contact Drs. L. Parlevliet
The copyrights of the photos used in this page are with Eyecare Worldwide