Our COVID-19 efforts

Saving Sight,
Saving Lives

Operation Eyesight’s goal is to build resilient communities that have access to quality, integrated eye health care. We can’t do this without our local partner hospitals. And at multiple points throughout the pandemic, these hospitals urgently needed our help.

For years, we have been working closely with local government and hospital partners help them map out a better future for their citizens who face avoidable blindness. With these strong partnerships in place, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were well positioned to help our partners respond to the immediate challenges presented by the virus. In 2021, given the escalated situation in South Asia and around the world, we continued to support our partner hospitals so together we could save sight, and save lives. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors.

To all those who responded to our urgent call for support, thank you for your compassion. Because of you, we were able to install an additional ventilator in the COVID-19 ICU ward in India’s Little Flower Hospital. Your support saved lives.

A message of thanks from the Director of Little Flower Hospital, Dr. Varghese Pottackal:

When the local government hospital in Kerala, a state in southern India, became overwhelmed, they requested to send patients to Little Flower Hospital, a long-time partner of ours. In preparation for the influx of patients, Little Flower prepared 80 hospital beds and 10 ventilators, but it wasn’t enough.

Within no time we were in dire need of ventilators. We reached a point where no ICU beds were available in any local hospital, including ours. Despite their best efforts, our emergency staff had to witness the heartbreaking death of patients due to the lack of ICU beds and ventilators. At this critical time, Operation Eyesight came forward with the offer to purchase a ventilator thanks to their generous donors.”

Mary Sebastian, Administrator, Little Flower Hospital

Our partner hospitals are resilient. The people they serve are resilient. By supporting them through tough times like these, you are helping them emerge from the pandemic stronger and healthier. Thank you! 

Little Flower Hospital in Kerala, India
The new ventilator at Little Flower Hospital. This is so much more than a piece of equipment – it’s something that provides hope for a family and relief for overwhelmed healthcare workers.

Looking Back: Our COVID-19 Efforts in 2020

When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Operation Eyesight acted quickly, working through our partnerships and our experience with community outreach to provide immediate aid in the regions where we work. With support from our donors, we were able to keep our partner hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, allowing them to continue to provide quality eye health care services. We brought clean water sources and infection education to thousands of families, not only preventing the spread of COVID-19, but expanding on our existing programs to bring clean water and hygiene education to communities where blinding trachoma is prevalent. Our donors were part of a movement to respond to a global emergency with compassion and care, and they also helped to move our sight-saving programs to the next level.

As part of our emergency response in India:

  • 91 community health workers were trained
  • 14,595 hygiene kits were distributed
  • 65,270 individuals received health education
  • 14,565 health education materials were distributed
  • 15 hand washing vessels were distributed

One of the many ways our donors helped was through training community health workers to educate their communities on COVID-19, and distribute desperately needed safety supplies. Rupoda is a community health worker based in the state of Assam, who traveled 10 kilometres a day on foot to ensure people received the education and supplies they needed.