United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Qatar Creating Vision

Qatar Fund for Development (

    Globally 2.2 billion people suffer from visual impairment & avoidable blindness. One of the main barriers to eliminating avoidable blindness is lack of access to quality eye care services. With 80% of a child’s learning processed through vision, a lack of sight means missed educational opportunities. Qatar Creating Vision is an initiative funded by Qatar Fund and implemented by Orbis UK with the support of numerous NGOs and hospitals. The initiative was launched in 2016 to reduce childhood blindness in India and Bangladesh (highest prevalence countries) targeting 5.5 million school children, training up health professionals, creating accessible improved services in hard to reach locations

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    The project was designed and implemented based on the identified needs of the project beneficiaries. during first three months of project initiation, project Managers alongside partners, finalized activity plans, targets, recruited and inducted new project staff and developed key M&E and project management tools to ensure rigorous data management and monitoring of project activities: Baseline data, M&E Operational Plan, Indicator reference sheet, Data collection and reporting tools, Project database, Training in the M&E system provided to all staff and partner stakeholders working on the QCV programme. The style of management and monitoring varies between the two countries but both follow clear monitoring plans through where they can clearly identify project progress and identify problems early on. In Bangladesh the following technologies and resources were utilized to ensure the best outcome of the project. BOOST software to measure the visual outcome of cataract surgery, Vision Centre Management Software, Out Bound Dialling – a patient reminder system to ensure post – operative follow of patients. In India, A KAP study on refractive errors in children amongst children themselves, their parents, teachers and eye health service providers was conducted. Standardization of process, hardware and software all contribute to making REACH a unique initiative. A common guideline has been developed to standardizeclinical and non-clinical processes. This led to REACHSoft, a software solution tailored for this programme. REACHSoft is designed to support the planning, implementation and management (including M&E) of the programme Resources: trained hospital teams and resources (fully/part funded), specialist screening equipment, vehicles, data server. Financial contribution by QFFD: $8 million


    In 4 years, QCV delivered 6,241,671 million eye health screenings of children, resulting in 430,686 prescriptions for spectacles and 27,908 surgeries – free of charge. provided 82,489 trainings delivered to medical professionals, teachers and community health workers. This contributed to SDG-3 in strengthening existing eye health services e.g. at partner hospitals and establishing new eye services e.g. Vision Centres, ensuring that marginalised children and adults can access the eye care they need, contributing to their overall quality of life and wellbeing

    Enabling factors and constraints

    The prerequisites for both countries involve collaboration from the hospital partners, local school authorities, local ministries of health and education and teams of local community health workers who spread key messages on the importance of good eye health backed up by robust quality data management systems and technologies (Q3). This ensures accurate follow up of each patient through the referral system. At each point it is vital that each person in the referral process knows how to treat and/or refer those with eye conditions. Investment is required to provide training and equipment to the health providers and there needs to be an understanding of the cultural context e.g. parents fear that wearing spectacles will reduce their daughter’s marriage opportunities.

    Sustainability and replicability

    Medical staff now have the skills to treat and/or refer patients, in the long-term reducing the prevalence of visual impairment amongst children. At partner hospital level, there is cross-subsidisation, where fees from wealthier patients are used to finance the medical care for poorer patients. This is a model that has worked well at partner hospitals and has been in place for several years. The creation of seven self-sustaining Vision Centres, able to provide subsidised services, enable services to be accessible at community level – reducing the need for travel and the risk of lost wages. VCs generate income through a minimal registration fee of around 50 cents and also through the sale and distribution of medicine and spectacles.The REACH Manual of Procedures can be shared with all hospitals throughout India who want to deliver REACH model. It is now rolled out in Nepal and funded by FCDO. The increased involvement of teachers and parents in the programme will increase ownership of REACH at community level.

    COVID-19 Impact

    Adaptations resulting from C-19 have enabled us to enhance the inclusivity of our programmes. Due to prolonged school closures, we now also carry out door to door screening of children in India and Nepal with the support of Female Community Health Volunteers. This increases the inclusivity of the project as it will also target those in non-formal education, those with disabilities and those who are unable to go to school. In Bangladesh, we work with Community Eye Health Workers to carry out screenings in their communities. This will involve both house to house and school screenings. Teachers will also be oriented by the trained CEHWs to carry out eye screenings in their schools once they reopen. Due to social distancing and the use of PPE, it takes longer to screen and treat each patient

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    01 July 2016 (start date)
    31 December 2020 (date of completion)
    Qatar Fund for Development
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    Other beneficiaries

    The project’s primary beneficiaries are school age children and their families, the 21 hospital partners and their medical teams. Other stakeholders include local and national Ministries of Health and Education, local and national journalists, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Vision 2020, Optometry Council of India and Pediatric Ophthalmology society of India.

    More information
    Contact Information

    Isra , Global Advocacy Specialist