Sightsavers India implemented an eye health programme in the Indian Sunderbans in West Bengal from 2013 to 2018. The objective of project was to contribute to the elimination of avoidable blindness in the area. The project was implemented across 19 administrative blocks of Sunderbans in the two districts of North and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal. The project was completed with the support of three local NGOs namely, Sunderbans Social Development Centre (SSDC), Southern Health Improvement Society (SHIS) and Vivekananda Mission Asram (VMA). Over the course of the project, several research studies were implemented which were designed to help plan, implement and evaluate the project.
Two surveys, one conducted and baseline and one at endline, were undertaken to measure the eye health status of people living in the Sunderbans region and understand their health seeking behaviour. Results were compared to understand what changes had occurred over the course of the project.
Two other research studies were conducted to investigate specific interventions that were carried out in the project:
Findings from this research are also featured in a special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Leaving no one behind: Equity and Eye Health.