GoAP and Sightsavers State Level Training for 350 PMOOs Launched

"Modern trends in Delivery of Eyecare" was the topic chosen by GoAP and Sightsavers International to orient 350 Paramedic Ophthalmic Officers (PMOO) spread across 23 districts of the state at Sankar Foundation, Vishakhapatnam.

It was the first time that training for paramedic ophthalmic officers was organized comprehensively on the newly launched programmes like Aarogyashree, 104 Mobile Van (also called as HMRI's Fixed Day Health Scheme) and teleophthalmology. Since, the PMOO (new terminology for Paramedic Ophthalmic Assistants) has been recognized as the referral link in all these innovative programmes launched by government, it was imperative to host this training.

While Dr Mothilal, Joint Director- AP NPCB volunteered to take session on "How to make cataract free zone", resource persons were called in from district or regional level officials from Aarogyashree scheme, HMRI and Regional Eye Hosptial (for teleophthalmology) respectively. The training also included practical demonstration of 104 mobile fan, interaction with Aarogyamitra (person appointed at base hospital by Govt.) and their role.

To cover the entire state, districts have been divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Districts (10)July 20th – 21st : Srikakulam, Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram
July 23rd -24th : East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna
July 27th – 28th : Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Chittor

Phase 2: Districts (6)
August 17th – 18th : Cuddapah, Ananthpur, Kurnool
August 20th – 21st : Mehboobnagar, Nalgonda, Khammam

Phase 3: Districts (6)September 7th – 8th : Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nizamabad
September 10th- 11th: Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal

* Hyderabad was not included.

This is the third time, when Sightsavers has organized a joint state level training (technically as well as financially) in Andhra Pradesh after conducting DPM training for two consecutive years. After approval from Dr L V Subhramanyam (Prinicipal Health Secretary) we foresee more such training programmes for ophthalmic personnels across all cadres in partnership with the government.

*Click on the photo for large view.

With all this effort, a message has been clearly sent to the key decision makers of the state that inclusion of eyecare is a step towards achieveing primary healthcare for the bottom of the pyramid.

Let's not get blurred by the launch of technology ignoring the immensely able human resource as ultimately it will be a human who will be treated by a human.


Vision 2020 Celebrated World Sight Day, New Delhi

I know you might be expecting another update on MEC's eye care mela held at Dharavi. Though, for a change, I am taking you to the national celebration by VISION 2020 on 7th and 8th Oct, 2009 held at IDSA Auditorium, Institute of Defence Studies & Analysis, New Delhi. This year's WSD theme was “Gender & eye health – equal access to care”.

On 7th Oct, under session 2 on VISION 2020 INDIA member organizations’ Perspective and Experiences, Sightsavers representative Ms Shanthakumari Gopal from North East Area Office (Kolkatta) got the opprotunity to share the experiences of on gender issues. Her presentation
titled "Gender Inequity: Findings from research and experiential learning" started with case study followed by the concept of gender, its impact, facts and its correlation with eye health.
Some highlights from the presentation are as follows:
- On average, the rate cataracts are operated is 1.5 times higher for men than women
- Blind or visually impaired women may not seek examination and care because of cultural constraints, cost, Travel or lack of access to information
- When women are denied equal access to health services, education and employment they are less able to care for themselves and their family
Later in the evening a media meeting and dinner was organized with the brand ambassodor of VISION 2020, Ms Hema Malini.

While day 1 (7th Oct) witnessed a full day discourse on the theme of WSD, day 2 (8th Oct) called for a half day discussion on "Integrating eye health in the National Health
System – A Gender based perspective" under the chair of Dr G V S Murthy (AIIMS).