Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care (GPR ICARE)
LVPEI's community outreach program, began in May 1998, with the aim of making high-quality, appropriate eye care accessible to all. GPR ICARE focuses on both the geographically removed as well as the economically disadvantaged groups.
Objectives of GPR ICARE:
To develop high quality self-sustaining eye care services in neglected areas of India and other parts of the developing world
To train all cadres of eye care personnel for the provision of and efficient eye care services
To participate in planning eye health initiatives in the developing world
To undertake operations and research projects to understand the best way to deliver eye care services to communities
Eye Health Pyramid
A 'bottom-up' pyramid represents LVPEI's model of holistic Eye Care - creation of sustainable permanent facilities within communities, staffed and managed by locally trained human resources, and linked effectively with successively higher levels of care.
At the base of the pyramid are VISION GUARDIANS that represent community involvement. Vision guardians comprise trained young people who keep a close vigil on the eye health of about 5,000 persons within communities, through door-to-door surveys and other informal means.
VISION CENTRES form the next level and serve the primary eye health needs of the community. Drawing upon local talent and staffed by persons from the local community, each Vision Centre caters to a cluster of villages, individually servicing a target of around 50,000 people.
SECONDARY EYE CARE CENTRES are networked to the Vision Centers and each serves a population of 500,000 persons. These centres provide care that can diagnose the complete range of ophthalmological diseases and offer high quality surgical care for cataract - the most common cause of blindness. These centres draw upon local talent too, with team members recruited from the local community and trained at LVPEI’s advanced tertiary centres.
TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALS / TRAINING CENTRES are linked to Secondary Centers and each serves a population of 5 million persons. These centres provide a comprehensive range of services and also serve as training centres to the secondary centres.
CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE are linked to tertiary centers and each serves a population of 50 million persons. These centres treat complex diseases, train the trainers in subspecialties & rehabilitation and engage in advocacy.
The LVPEI model draws the most marginalized populations into the health care system, providing affordable or free eye care, without compromising on quality. Vision Centres and Service centres can entirely eliminate 75% of all avoidable blindness due to the need for spectacles, detect potentially blinding problems. Thus only 25% vision impaired people in rural, remote areas need to travel to the cities to access tertiary care.