Outreach Services has been the foundation services of the Hospital right from inception and is the primary raison of the organization.
Cataract Screening: With the motive of helping in the eradication of avoidable blindness, we recognized the need to address the three A’s which impediments – Awareness, Access, and Affordability. By conducting our intervention in Community Ophthalmology through the Rural Outreach Programme titled “Kannoli – Vision Saver”, we have addressed the problems of access and affordability and with our formidable team of volunteers in the villages, we have successfully addressed Awareness on the curability of blindness due to Cataract. The intervention involves the following:
Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Camps
As someone with diabetes, your eyes are at risk of damage from diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes need to have a full eye exam every year. DR is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). At first, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems. Eventually, it can cause blindness. Diabetic eye screening is important as it helps to prevent sight loss. Screening can detect the condition early before you notice any changes to your vision.
In the rural area, people with DR may not get identified in the routine screening camps – the Hospital conducts special camps for DR Screening once every quarter to identify patients with potential retina problems and since this intervention is likely to be a prolonged one, they are advised to come to the hospital along with their attendants. Almost all such patients are covered under the Tamilnadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme and hence they will be eligible for free treatment.
Glaucoma Screening Camps
Glaucoma, known as a sneak thief of eyesight, is one of the most sight-threatening conditions of the eye. It usually occurs among people above 40 years of age especially those who have a family history of glaucoma. It is caused due to excess build-up of fluid inside the eye, which in the normal case, is drained in the bloodstream. The fluid exerts pressure on vital parts of the eye like optic nerve and causes irreversible damage. Initially, field vision is affected.
Screening patients in rural areas for Glaucoma is a challenge. Detailed investigation to confirm Glaucoma can be best done in the Hospital and hence quarterly screening is carried out at the Hospital itself with adequate publicity given in the villages. Village volunteers and sponsors are encouraged to bring such patients to the Hospital. Since the treatment is covered under TNCMCHIS, the patient gets free service.