Developing Comprehensive, Sustainable Eye Care Delivery in South Africa
Ashoka Fellow, Durban, South Africa
Working within the International Centre for Eyecare Education, optometrist Professor Kovin Naidoo has developed a comprehensive, sustainable, and horizontal economic service delivery model for poor rural communities in South Africa. Errors in visual refraction correction that are left untreated contribute to 10 percent of world blindness. In South Africa, where eye care is expensive and reaches only abut 25 percent of the population, the rural poor have virtually no access to vision treatment, creating a barrier to education and employment. Kovin’s model has extended the reach of eye care in South Africa by training community-based health care workers and staffing small clinics with student interns. To make glasses more affordable, he works with companies to obtain cheap frames and lenses, and has trained local young people to do the lens fitting — cutting the price of glasses from $80 to $2-10 while generating income for the community.
• Eye Care Delivery
• Affordable Health