In 2015, the Fund approved a three-year grant (subsequently extended to 58 months) of $743,146 to L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a world-class provider of comprehensive clinical ophthalmology services in India, to build the sustainable capacity of 30 L V Prasad vision centers in the Indian state of Telangana. The construction project was to consist of two main goals: (1) to screen the vision of 750,000 children ages 0-16 in the centers’ catchment areas and (2) to provide prescription eyeglasses, advanced eye care, and/or low-vision and rehabilitation services to those children as needed, regardless of their ability to pay. LVPEI expected to fund its eye care services, professional training, research and development initiatives through a combination of a sliding-scale fee structure, government health coverage reimbursements, and supplementary grant support.
By grant’s end, LVPEI had screened 906,923 and provided vision rehabilitation services to 319 children under the age of 16, as well as given out 23,232 pairs of glasses and 877 low-vision devices to children identified with refractive errors. These efforts exceeded the Institute’s initial goals, and all services were delivered at no cost to the children’s families. In addition, a number of important measures were put in place to improve referral uptake rates, among them the prioritization of referral services, the use of immediate and repeated follow-up, the stepped-up use of teleconsultation, the engagement of a full-time community health worker, and the initiation of parent meetings at schools.