Building sustainable eye care systems is essential to ensuring that eye care services are available on an ongoing basis. ICEE Vision Centres, often set up in collaboration with partners, are permanent sites that provide communities with access to culturally appropriate and affordable eye care. The centres are staffed by local eye care personnel, providing refraction and dispensing services.
ICEE Vision Centres contain an internal cost-recovery mechanism and seek integration with other local health care services, governments and NGOs to promote sustainability of the service while ensuring affordability to the public. The programme accommodates and complements a diverse range of health and eye care delivery systems in various regions, countries and communities in need.
When possible, centres are located within various community health care facilities, creating linkages between eye care provision and other health services. This helps extend the reach of services in vulnerable areas and helps to offer patients greater access to other health care professionals such as general practitioners and ophthalmologists. The programme is designed to build sustainable eye care systems to ensure eye care services are available on an ongoing basis.
ICEE works with primary health care services and supports them to include primary eye care services as part of the package of services they provide. ICEE then establishes Vision Centres to provide services for people with uncorrected vision impairment, but also to detect and diagnose other vision threatening eye diseases.
Vision Centres have diagnostic equipment, a diverse range of affordable spectacles and when appropriate, an optical lab, all to facilitate the centre’s smooth running.
The initiative is helping reduce the spiralling numbers of those suffering from uncorrected vision impairment and ultimately aims to eliminate avoidable blindness and vision impairment caused by uncorrected refractive error by the year 2020.
Currently, ICEE has established Vision Centres in Cambodia, Vietnam , Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Uganda.