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Coordinated Approach to Community Health (CATCH)

The CATCH programme, which finished in 2019, ensured that patients who visited trachoma screening camps with another eye condition, such as cataracts, were given the treatment they needed.

A patient in a surgical gown and cap, with a visible cataract in his left eye.

What we’ve learned from the CATCH programme

Read the report (pdf)

The innovative CATCH programme, which ran from 2015 to 2019, helped to increase access to eye health services and provided eye care treatments to people across trachoma-endemic areas in five countries in East Africa.

CATCH, which stands for Coordinated Approach to Community Health, has worked towards sustainable eye care services across Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia. The lessons learned will help us develop and design  new programmes in future.

22,600
patients received cataract surgery
418,000
people were screened for eye conditions
30
ophthalmic specialists were trained

How did the programme work?

While running our trachoma screening programmes in Africa, we realised many patients coming to the camps had cataracts and other eye diseases that the camps didn’t have the necessary equipment or right environment to treat.

The patients turned away were unlikely to seek further help due to lack of money or distance to get to their nearest hospital.

The CATCH programme piggybacked on large-scale trachoma initiatives and ensured cataract patients were given help to travel to the nearest facility where cataract surgery could be performed.

Gladys Atoo in her Doctor's uniform, smiles at the camera

Supporting surgeons

The CATCH programme has helped to train cataract surgeons such as Gladys.

Read Gladys’s story

What did the programme achieve?

Easier referrals

CATCH has helped to improve referral systems in communities, so people can learn about the causes of poor vision and how to get help for eye issues.

Shared evidence

The programme has gathered a wealth of research and evidence, and shared it with national and local governments to improve eye health services.

Strong partnerships

The programme would not have been possible without developing relationships and strategic collaborations with stakeholders across all five countries.

Looking to the future

While significant progress has been made to provide sustainable eye care services, there are still challenges to be faced and work that needs to be done. Sightsavers and partners need the continued support of donors, as well as national and local governments to make sure eye health is a top priority. Together we can enhance the health, quality of life and future wellbeing of millions of people.

Thanks to your support…

Vision Spring USA donated 55,000 pairs of reading glasses, which were distributed to people in need through the programme.

The CATCH project was funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development as a result of donations made by Sightsavers supporters in 2014 during a funding appeal. The donations were matched pound for pound by the UK Aid Match fund.

A man has his eyes checked at a screening camp in Kasungu, Malawi

What we’ve learned from CATCH

The programme has restored the sight of more than 21,000 people and generated a wealth of knowledge that will be used to improve future programmes.

Read our blog

More about the CATCH programme

Louise Robinson greeting people
sightsavers_news

Senior DFID advisor visits eye camps in Samburu County, Kenya

Louise Robinson has visited projects as part of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Trachoma Initiative and Sightsavers’ CATCH project.

A group of villagers sit on the grass while waiting to be screened for eye conditions at a health centre in Uganda.
Sightsavers blog

Eye health: the community approach

The CATCH programme aims to ensure that people in trachoma-endemic areas benefit from improved health through the provision of eye care services.

sightsavers_news

Sightsavers programme changes lives in Mozambique

One of our programmes, Coordinated Approach to Community Health, has been changing lives in Mozambique by providing eye health care to remote communities.