Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured
As of mid-September 2011, Unite For Sight has provided eye care to more than 1.2 million patients, including close to 47,000 sight-restoring surgeries. Unite For Sight measures outcomes, not just outputs, meaning that we follow up with patients and ensure that surgeries and care provided were successful. We track the number of patients living in poverty who receive eye care through Unite For Sight's outreach programs, as well as those who receive surgery at the local partner eye clinics. Additionally, we track the number of patients with significantly improved vision after surgery. Unite For Sight requires extensive documentation from each eye clinic partner, including every patient's preoperative and postoperative visual acuity data, which is analyzed to ensure the quality, effectiveness, and social impact of the programs. We also assess the increase in each eye clinic's cataract surgical rate, targeted for patients living in poverty. Comparison measurements are made for cataract surgical rate before and after the introduction of the Unite For Sight partnership.
Unite For Sight significantly builds local capacity by investing in its local eye clinic partners. In Ghana, four of the country's 45 ophthalmologists are Unite For Sight partners. During 2008, Unite For Sight supported 5,011 (36%) of the 14,053 total cataract surgeries done in all of Ghana. During 2009, with Unite For Sight's support of and collaboration with four partner ophthalmologists, Ghana increased its surgical volume to 17,366 surgeries. That year, Unite For Sight's outreach programs with the partner eye clinics provided 46% of all cataract surgeries performed in Ghana, and these 8,060 surgeries were provided for patients living in extreme poverty. Unite For Sight was directly responsible for 92% of the cataract surgical increase in Ghana between 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Unite For Sight's four partner ophthalmologists provided more than half of all of the surgeries done by the 45 ophthalmologists in Ghana.
Prior to Unite For Sight's partnership, each ophthalmologist provided approximately 500 cataract surgeries per year to standard patients who were able to access and afford care. This surgical capacity is in line with Ghana's current average of 405 surgeries per year. In order to reach Ghana's Vision 2020 goal, each ophthalmologist is expected to provide 1066 cataract surgeries per year. After partnering with Unite For Sight, each eye clinic partner has been able to provide an average of 2500 cataract surgeries annually. This total includes continued surgical care for standard patients, coupled with Unite For Sight-supported surgical care for patients living in extreme poverty who are otherwise unable to access or afford care.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Unite For Sight will provide eye care to more than 120,000 patients during the next six months, including at least 6,000 sight-restoring surgeries for patients living in poverty.
Our first task is to apply the results of a recent Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved Unite For Sight research study about patient barriers to cataract surgery.
We will apply the results of a recent IRB-approved Unite For Sight research study about barriers that prevent caretakers from bringing children to village outreaches for eye care.
We will work with our partner eye clinics to further mobilize the communities so that the hardest-to-reach patients access quality eye care.
Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Unite For Sight will work with its local partner eye clinics to provide eye care to 240,000 patients during the next year.
Currently, 100-300 patients come to each day's village outreach. Are there barriers that prevent other household members from also seeking eye care? We will explore this via a research study.
We will further research and address barriers that impact the hardest-to-reach patients in each village.
Working with our eye clinic partners, we will further develop social mobilization processes to increase the number of patients accessing the eye care provided in the village outreaches.
How will your project evolve over the next three years?
Over the next three years, Unite For Sight will expand its impact by partnering with new eye clinic partners that would like to provide eye care to patients living in poverty. Unite For Sight's existing partner eye clinics and ophthalmologists will continue to be integral to the establishment and development of new eye clinic partnerships. For example, an existing eye clinic partner's outreach optometrist will work for 1-2 weeks with a new eye clinic partner's outreach optometrist to teach and replicate strategies that have been proven effective with Unite For Sight's existing partner eye clinics. The ophthalmologists similarly closely collaborate on effective management and leadership strategies for the Unite For Sight outreach programs.