The Sundarbans Eye Health Service Strengthening Project was a five-year project (2013-2018) covering 19 administrative blocks of West Bengal, collectively known as the Sundarbans, with a population of 4.7 million.
Almost half of the population (47 per cent) belongs to marginalised groups such as scheduled castes and tribes, and more than 40 per cent of households live below the poverty line.
The project’s goal was to help to eliminate avoidable blindness in the Sundarbans region of West Bengal by 2020. It aimed to:
- Improve coverage and access to affordable, quality eye health services
- Raise awareness and improve attitudes towards eye health in target communities
- Increase the capacity of governmental and non-governmental institutions to deliver eye health services.
The project worked with three established non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners and the state government to create 17 vision centres covering all 19 administrative blocks in the Sundarbans. It provided screening, referral and treatment services, alongside awareness raising, outreach work and training for community-level staff and volunteers in the government and informal health sectors.
Publication date: November 2018