Treat, train, adapt, and grow: Empowering partners in a changing landscape
The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time of growth for HCP. While the crisis has stalled our efforts to combat needless blindness, we will not allow this virus to undo our progress. We are using this time to regroup, redesign and restructure our programs so that our work will continue and emerge even stronger as the crisis subsides— and beyond.
Building in-country eye care capabilities operated by local professionals remains central to our approach. As such, we have amplified engagement with our in-country partners to help them support their eye care institutions and communities through this crisis. The progress we are making together underscores the effectiveness of our partner-focused approach.
COVID-19 has impacted all of our stakeholders and programs. As is the case worldwide, live clinical and surgical training is on hold. All non-urgent, elective surgery has been suspended, and outreach activity has been postponed.
The growing backlog of global blindness has not paused because of the virus. The rate of blindness among the most vulnerable will increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as access to care is limited. This, and the pent up demand for services, will cause even more patients to lose sight from undiagnosed and untreated eye disease.
We are coordinating with our partners to develop institution-specific responses for managing blindness in their communities in the wake of the virus. Our international network has helped develop effective protocols to decrease viral transmission in the eye care setting.
HCP | CureBlindness empowers local physicians and medical systems to treat, train, adapt, and grow. This locally-rooted, stable foundation enables everything we do. We are providing ongoing support to our partners by:
- Providing our diverse network of in-country partners with the information they need to keep themselves and their patients safe. We are also helping facilitate communication between doctors from around the world to the countries we operate in, sharing medical knowledge and stories of hope.
- Many of our partners serve patients in areas that lack ready access to the internet and life-saving information. We are providing them with information on preparing their practices for COVID-19, how to utilize available materials for masks and shields, and suggesting ways to get vital information to remote patients.
- Expanding education efforts by facilitating access to remote teaching conferences from around the world for continued cognitive skill training. Our educational focus is now on transforming curricula from in-person to remote based to broaden the impact.
In low- and middle-income countries, where health care delivery is challenged by resource limitations, a lengthy pandemic threatens to explode the rate of new blindness. As even the most affluent societies must confront this unprecedented financial and public health crisis, with less attention and support will be directed to the plight of the poor and vulnerable in remote areas of the world.
How you can help
The stress of the pandemic will reverberate in health systems for a long time, creating new challenges in addition to existing hurdles. As soon as the crisis eases the need for eye care will be greater than ever, particularly among the poor.
The support you provide to HCP will help us sustain and assist our partners - the in-country doctors, nurses, technicians and volunteers, who help make our work possible. By helping our partners, you will help strengthen and sustain eye care systems. Your generosity will empower our partners to better respond to the pandemic and care for their local populations in this time of need.
Together we can ensure quality eye care for the most vulnerable among us will continue long into the future - thank you.