In honor of Earth Day, Orbis International announces the recent opening of 18 Green Vision Centers that are making quality eye care services more readily available for children in rural communities in India’s Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal states. Each Center has been designed for minimal carbon impact and is strategically located to serve a population of over 100,000. Fourteen of the Centers opened with support from USAID and the Lavelle Fund for the Blind. All 18 Centers are run in coordination with Orbis local partners.
According to sources, Green Vision Centers are an innovative approach that not only improves the quality of eye health in communities that have traditionally lacked access to care, but also operates with sustainability at the forefront. The Centers run on solar power, a solution that is environmentally friendly and helps to overcome challenges caused by frequent power outages, ensuring that eye care remains uninterrupted regardless of access to electricity. Outreach teams at the Centers also leverage electric scooters while conducting local school and door-to-door screenings and creating awareness among the community.
“More children are blind in India than in any other country, and in over half of cases, sight could be restored with early intervention and treatment,” said Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director for Orbis India. “Ensuring that families can access their children’s care close to home is critical to overcoming this challenge. That’s why I’m so proud of the Green Vision Centers in operation today – with all the potential they represent for children, for rural communities and for our planet.”
Five of the Green Vision Centers in West Bengal also address a variety of traditional barriers for women and girls. Orbis trained women-led management teams to run the centers, empowering women in the community through job creation and increasing their financial independence. Ten vision technicians and five community health workers have already been trained and employed to work in the new facilities.