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Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi
Taking quality eye care to the underserved and underprivileged masses of rural India

Dr Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital (SCEH) is a comprehensive eye care institute with a main campus in New Delhi. A vision 2020 member, it is playing a significant role in the prevention and cure of blindness in North India today. It offers comprehensive patient care, sight enhancement and low vision services and high impact rural eye health programmes. It is the only NABH (National Accreditation Board for Health & Health Care providers) accredited Eye & ENT hospital in North India.

With the vision of becoming Northern India’s best tertiary Eye and ENT care institution, providing quality care to people across all economic sections of the society, SCEH works out of 22 locations. The network includes a tertiary hospital in Delhi; 3 secondary hospitals in Alwar district in Rajasthan, Saharanpur district in Rampur and Lakhimpur Kheri district, Uttar Pradesh; and 16 Vision Centres offering primary eye care to the remotest rural areas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and many Delhi slums too.

The school itself operates on a shoestring budget though, struggling to provide the basics for their students, so when they asked Crossroads for books, clothes, educational furniture and things like mattresses and blankets for the children of the slum, we were delighted to help by shipping 2 x 40’ containers of aid.

The need to take quality eye care to the rural hinterlands of India

India, the second most populous country on the globe, is home to 23.5% of the world's blind. Over 80% of these cases are preventable or easily treatable if detected early. A majority of the 20 million of the country’s blind live in North India’s rural areas where there is a relative lack of even the most basic eye care services.

Lakhimpur Kheri district is located along the border with Nepal and, at 7,680 sq km, is the largest in the state. According to Government statistics, it is also the most sparsely populated in the country and is one the most underserved areas of Uttar Pradesh in terms of eye care.

The magnitude of eye sight problems in Lakhimpur Kheri district

With a population close to 3.5 million, Lakhimpur Kheri district is one of the most severely underserved areas in terms of medical and eye care facilities. With money, treatment can be sought in bigger cities like Lucknow and Bareilley – but for the majority, who cannot afford this route, there is little chance of getting any medical help. For example, the estimated backlog of people needing cataract surgery is 35, 000 while the actual number of recorded surgeries being done is only 2, 500 per year. At this rate it will take about 13 years to clear the backlog alone, not counting new cases.

SCEH’s work in the region
Since 2006, with the help of regional NGO’s, and funding from Standard Chartered Bank’s programme of ‘Seeing is Believing’, SCEH has been focusing on this region and by 2010, had successfully given back sight to more than 3,500 people by performing regular screening and follow-up clinics and bringing patients to Delhi for surgery.

Establishing a permanent Eye Hospital (Surgical Centre) in Mohammadi, Lakhimpur Kheri district, Uttar Pradesh

In light of the success of this initiative and also the enormous community need for eye care, we are setting up a permanent fully-furnished eye hospital in the region capable of providing high volume quality eye care services thus ensuring the sustainability of this programme.

Land was been donated by a local philanthropist and registered in the name of the hospital, architectural plans drawn up and civil work was started in February 2013, with a strict timeline for completing each stage of the build. The work has been progressing at a very satisfactory pace, thanks to our donors who are our partners in the whole programme.

The civil work is almost complete, and at present as you can see from the photo, land-filling and internal roads are being constructed. With all the three floors ready, the outpatients department and operating theatre are scheduled to be open by the end of February 2014. Once the hospital is constructed and equipped, it will be manned by two eye surgeons, each performing between 10 and 15 surgeries daily. The target for cataract surgeries will be 2,500 – 3,000 annually. An additional Ophthalmologist may be required if there is a need to perform more surgeries. Starting with Cataract surgeries (which form 65% of total eye diseases) SCEH’s vision is to take eye care services to the doorsteps of people of the region and surrounding districts by establishing 6 to 8 Vision Centres (primary eye care units) and starting a mobile eye screening programme so patients do not have to travel to the hospital for routine eye ailments or getting spectacles prescribed. Three Vision Centres have already been commissioned, with one already up and running.

FABBAs contribution

It would have been impossible for us to realize our dream of establishing this hospital without the financial and moral support of our partners, like the FABBAs, who have kept immense faith in us and believed in our mission. The total civil work of the hospital has cost USD 288, 000 and we are thankful to the FABBAs for their valuable contribution towards realizing this project

Future projects and how your donation could help

SCEH is looking to expand its services with mobile vans for community eye care programmes:

1). Mobile Van - for screening patients and treating them for post-cataract developments on their doorstep
Items required: Bus, screening equipment and Yag Laser
Aproximate cost: USD 78, 000

2). Mobile Diagnostic Van - for screening patients and early identification of eye diseases such as glaucoma, retina, pediatric problems etc
Items Required: Bus and Diagnostic Equipment
Aproximate cost: USD 169, 000

THANK YOU FABBAs – our partner for making a difference to the lives of people in India!

Visit our website: www.sceh.net