Dear Colleagues,

Warm Greetings from LAICO!

We are happy to announce that we are going to conduct a workshop on “District Planning 0.2 – Serving the Under Served Regions” to be held at LAICO from October 13 - 14, 2014 (Mon – Tue) as part of this year’s October Summit.

It is estimated that in India over six million cataract surgeries are done annually, resulting in a Cataract Surgical Rate (CSR)of about 5,000. While such a CSR rate is very impressive, especially amongst the developing countries, we have to recognize that this is an average for the entire nation with 29 states and over 650 districts. The implication of this is that about half of the states and districts would be performing less than this average, with some of the districts with very low performance. A more serious implication of this is the fact that the people in those districts, for no fault of theirs are denied the eye care that they need.

Districts with low CSR have been in that situation, chronically influenced by a number of factors. These include availability of infrastructure and human resources, especially ophthalmologists; the productivity of these resources and the eye care leadership at the district level, either from the government or non-government sector. Change in this status quo and enhancement of eye care services in such districts is unlikely to happen organically by itself. Proactive measures and implementation in a “project mode” would be required to increase the eye care services to the desired levels. This is the context for conceptualizing this consultation. A beginning was made about 2 decades ago by pioneering work done by DANPCB (of DANIDA) and the Govt. of India which resulted in the concept of DBCS. The time has come to act again to address the disparity in services across districts. Hence the nomenclature for this consultation – “District Planning 2.0”

Workshop Objective
To deliberate on the ground realities and practical challenges faced by underserved districts and develop an appropriate intervention model that could be deployed for enhancing eye care delivery in such districts.

Expected Outcome
This workshop aims to come out with short term & long term intervention strategies to enhance the eye care services at District level with the involvement of all stake holders - Government, INGOs and eye care service providers in Govt., NGO and Private sectors.

Develop a plan for piloting this is in a few districts to give a broad based validation of the implementation plan.

  • Identify and Prioritized list of activities & process for taking it forward
  • Detailed action Plan and road map for rolling out this intervention
  • Identifying stakeholders, their willingness and their areas of contribution
  • Sensitising eye care funding agencies who invest in eye care service delivery to also to put aside some funding for such initiative

This pilot initiative with improvements will be rolled out in the underserved districts with a goal of helping them reach at least the national average of 5,000 cataract surgeries per million per year.

Targeted Participants
This 2 day workshop is planned in the form of a consultation in which experts and the participants will work around a commonly accepted structure to come out with the plan. With this intention the following groups of people are being targeted:

  • Major providers of eye care and representatives of service providers – Government, NGO’s and Private practitioners from the 7 states of India (Assam, Tripura, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Karnataka)
  • Ministry of health representative from Ministry of Health, Govt. of India
  • Senior representatives from the National Program for the Control of Blindness (NPCB) from the Govt. of India and various States
  • Heads of INGOs and their programme managers
  • Representatives from VISION 2020-India

Note: For each of the 7 identified states efforts will be made to get a team five participants comprising of Health secretary (or delegated person), State Programme officer, Sr. Government ophthalmologist, NGO Hospital, Private practitioners.

Funding Support
LAICO is in a position to support the cost of your stay for three nights at “Inspiration – International guest house on single / twin sharing basis and food during the workshop. Since we have a very limited budget available, we request the participants to support their travel cost on your own.