Early Identification & Treatment
- 285 million people are affected by sight problems yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable; it can be prevented or treated with cost-effective interventions
- Almost the same number of people have impaired hearing; early detection can prevent many conditions from developing or worsening
- Potentially disabling conditions can only be treated if they are first identified
It is estimated that one billion people lack access to healthcare systems. It is no surprise therefore that even minor injuries or infections can quickly escalate into permanently disabling conditions.
This helps to explain the high concentrations of disabled people living in remote rural areas where health facilities are few and far between.
IMPACT’s strategy is to reach them, in a number of innovative ways, in order to screen for the early warning signs of disabling conditions such as sight or hearing loss and to provide effective treatment.
Our medical teams also help people with other health problems including club foot, burns, cleft lip hypertension, and dental pain. Dedicated centres provide hearing aids, bespoke mobility aids and prosthetic limbs.
We support general health clinics run by our partners in remote areas of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, The Philippines and Zanzibar. These provide an invaluable service to the poorest people who would otherwise have no chance to receive medical attention. Specialist clinics are also established.
IMPACT’s aim is to reach the least underserved men, women and children and this often means innovative solutions to meet local challenges. Mobile clinics in minibuses and four-wheel drive vehicles and on boats enable medical teams to access hard-to-reach villages.
And the Lake Clinic we support in Cambodia serves people living in floating villages on the vast Tonlé Sap Lake.
An excellent way to reach thousands of vulnerable youngsters is to educate the people they come into contact with every day to check them for health issues. A programme of training for teachers, nursery school teachers, and students creates School Health Monitors who are able to identify sight, hearing and other problems and refer children to our teams for treatment.
We would never be able to reach so many ‘hidden’ people otherwise. In fact, nursery school teachers in Pune, India checked more than a million young children across 15 districts last year. First Aid Kits are given to schools so that minor injuries can be dealt with quickly.
IMPACT also builds the capacity of local medical professionals by facilitating on-going training. This enlarges the skills and knowledge reservoirs in impoverished areas and aids the sustainability of our projects.
The Individual IMPACT
Nine-year old Swati’s teacher noticed that she had problems focussing on the blackboard. She was a difficult pupil, unable to concentrate and often absent from lessons. After screening, which revealed a squint, and an operation, Swati can now see clearly, is confident, happy and her academic performance has greatly improved.