Manila Doctors Hospital

“Delivering Eco-Responsible Healthcare with Special Focus on Preventing Blindness”

Eye diseases

An eco-responsible sustainable solution in preventing blindness of Filipinos by making quality non-discriminatory eye care accessible to poor communities of isolated areas.

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Lead Organization

Manila Doctors Hospital

Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines

http://www.maniladoctors.com.ph

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

The Philippines is one of the developing countries where blindness remains a major psycho-socio-economic problem. The main cause of blindness is macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma which could be prevented, treated or controlled with early detection and timely intervention. Isolated land-locked places or far-flung islands in the country have no geographical access to healthcare and poor communities in these areas cannot afford the high cost of treatment in urban cities. Economic implications of vision loss are considerable with the loss of productivity and income which can further lead to poverty and social dependency. By building environmentally-friendly and disaster-resilient Eye Centers that are fully-equipped and manned by trained Eye doctors and staff in each region of the country and in its most isolated areas, Filipinos, from newborns to the elderly, will be able to access quality non-discriminatory eye care. Good vision is an enabler of well-being and health, development, and growth.

Problem Statement

he Philippines is a developing country where blindness remains a major psycho-socio-economic problem, with cataract and glaucoma as the top two causes. There are 2.4 million visually-impaired Filipinos, 90% of which are poor. Vision problems affect 1 in 20 preschoolers and 1 in 4 school-age children. If left unaddressed, avoidable blindness and visual impairment can lead to significant loss in economic opportunities both direct and indirect including higher expenditures due to need for full time caregiver and can affect almost every aspect of a person’s life. The consequences of vision impairment often negatively impact Quality of Life. Individuals with vision impairment are more likely to experience restrictions in their independence, mobility, educational achievement, as well as an increased risk of falls, fractures, injuries, poor mental health, cognitive deficits, and social isolation. Vision loss can also complicate chronic disease management, including self-care, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments, and proper administration of medicine.Economic implications are considerable with the loss of productivity and income which can further lead to poverty and social dependency. There are 1,573 ophthalmologists in the Philippines (only 44 of which are pediatric ophthalmologist), 95% of them are practicing in urban areas. Majority of Filipinos in rural areas have no access to ophthalmologists due to the high cost of setting up a facility and even if available, poor patients cannot afford to pay. Given the situation, there is a need for increased provision of eye care services to financially-challenged communities as they are particularly vulnerable to visual impairment.

Solution Overview

Restoring vision enables one to pursue economic opportunities, boosts self-sufficiency, and reduces other negative impacts attributable to visual impairment. With access to eye care, early detection of congenital and progressive conditions like cataract, retinopathy and glaucoma are immediately addressed through medical management or surgery and effectively prevent avoidable blindness. By establishing Eye Centers with complete facilities and equipment in every region of the country and its most isolated areas and by deploying trained doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and social workers in these centers, poor communities in the area will have access to quality eye care without needing to travel to big cities or suffering the debilitating cost of treatment. Over a five-year grant period, the opening of 20 fully-functioning Eye Centers in the Philippines is projected to address more than 500,000 cases. These centers broadly impact across the regions of the country, observable in marked increase of addressed cases, but also intense for each individual receiving consultation or treatment from the centers in terms of economic opportunities, mental health, and overall functioning. From newborns who receive screening for congenital eye conditions to elderly people who undergo treatment for age-related macular degeneration, indigent patients living in land-locked areas or hard-to-reach islands will benefit from the project. Building the centers in multiple isolated areas also enables doctors, nurses and other staff members local to the area to pursue their practice without having to transfer to big cities. They receive further training, widen their consultation network, and enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

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Project Funders

  • Manila Doctors Hospital 2001 - Ongoing
  • Metrobank Foundation Inc. 1979 - 2018
  • George Ty Foundation Inc. 2014 - Ongoing

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