Thursday, 26 Aug 2021
From charity to systems change
CBM has been supporting eye health programs in Indonesia for many years. “But no matter how many eye clinic charity drives we supported, it didn’t change the system”, reflected team leader, Vivian. The focus now is a wider impact, improving government eye health services, helping raise awareness about eye services in rural communities, and bringing the government’s services closer to rural (and poorer) people. CBM works with government district hospitals.
“As a result of our influence, there has been a 25% to 40% increase in the number of cataract surgeries performed at district level hospitals. And this momentum will be maintained.”
People often avoid seeking help for cataracts because they are scared, or worried about the cost. Improving government eye health services so that they are affordable and accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities is a key focus of our approach.
Assessing eye hospitals – are they accessible?
CBM in Indonesia also works alongside local Organisations of People with Disabilities (OPDs), to help government hospitals better address barriers to inclusion through the whole hospital system. OPDs have done “accessibility audits” that have forced hospitals to improve areas like signage, reception areas, building and toilet access, and training for staff. Hospitals also work with OPDs as a referral avenue for people whose vision impairment cannot be rectified by surgery.
CBM has also been active at the national level; supporting the National Eye Committee to be active, helping with the development of a National Roadmap for the Prevention of Blindness, and advocating for government adoption. CBM in Indonesia has developed a comprehensive eye care approach by partnering with district hospitals and can bring learnings to inform national policy.
CBM Australia has funded inclusive eye health projects in Bandung, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara, with support by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).