We first told you about Majuli Island back in Spring 2014. Located in India’s remote state of Assam, it’s home to 168,000 people. Before Operation Eyesight launched a Hospital-Based Community Eye Health Program there in 2012, the island had no eye care at all.
Thanks to a video documentary created by our Canadian intern Adrian Parlow, you can check in on our community health workers, hospital partner and the people of Majuli and see how we’re doing!
Operation Eyesight’s hospital partner for Majuli is Chandraprabha Eye Hospital, located in Jorhat, Assam. Established in 2005, the hospital was our first Non-Financial Technical Partnership. It’s now one of the most reputable hospitals in the region, houses two prestigious training schools and performs 4,200 surgeries annually.
Together, Operation Eyesight and Chandraprabha set out to eliminate avoidable blindness on Majuli Island. When our locally-hired community health workers began a comprehensive survey, they found that gender discrimination, vitamin A deficiency, poor sanitation, malnutrition and other issues all compounded the lack of eye health care.
Based on the survey, the project team and hospital management developed plans to tackle cataracts, blindness and other eye problems. To date, almost 3,800 people from the island have undergone surgery to restore their sight, over 5,000 pairs of eyeglasses have been dispensed and 83,500 people have attended health education workshops. Immunization of children under five and coverage of antenatal and postnatal care have all reached 85 percent.
In 2015, we were able to declare a total of 21 avoidable blindness-free villages on Majuli! Although there is much more to do, none of this work would be possible without our amazing donors. Thanks to donor support, people in places like Majuli Island no longer have to live in darkness; they have been given the gift of sight!