India’s revolutionary Aravind Eye Care System has given sight to millions. Aravind uses an ingenious approach that drives treatment costs down and quality up. It’s founder’s Dr. Vendakaswamy method can also be inspirational to re-thinking how human services are approached.
Aravind gradually grew into a network of five hospitals, predominately in the state of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Then several more were added, called Vision Centers, as part of a hub-and-spoke model. More recently Aravind started managing hospitals in other parts of the country, as well as setting up hospitals in other parts of the world.
In the past three decades, Aravind staff has performed around three-and-a-half million surgeries, a vast majority of them for the poor people. Each year it performs about 300,000 surgeries. Thulasiraj Ravilla reports that in “a typical day at Aravind, we would do about a thousand surgeries, maybe see about 6,000 patients, send out teams into the villages to examine, bring back patients, lots of telemedicine consultations, and, on top of that, do a lot of training, both for doctors and technicians who will become the future staff of Aravind.“
“A simple, well-proven surgery can restore sight to millions, and something even simpler, a pair of glasses, can make millions more see. If we add to that the many of us here now who are more productive because they have a pair of glasses, then almost one in five Indians will require eye care, a staggering 200 million people. Today, we’re reaching not even 10 percent of them.”
There are millions who are blind who do not have to be. Please consider getting involved to support Aravid. You can watch Thulasiraj Ravilla present in more detail how Aravind is able to deliver a world-class low-cost eye care at this TED Conference: