Practo Foundation Completes 2000 Free Cataract Surgeries, Sets Sight on 10,000

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Business Wire India

Practo, India’s leading healthcare technology company, marks its 16th year by announcing the completion of 2000 free cataract surgeries since May 2023 through the Practo Foundation Trust. Started in response to the urgent needs of disadvantaged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation provided 15,000+ free medical kits and doctor consultations and issued 6000+ free prescriptions as part of 700+ health camps. Now, it is focused on addressing the prevalent issue of cataracts, introducing its #Mission10kCataracts.
 
Research highlights that 82% of adult blindness is preventable and cataracts, a clouding of the lens in the eye, constitute a major portion of these avoidable cases, making up 63% of preventable blindness. The cumulative loss of Gross National Income in India due to this avoidable blindness is INR 11,778.6 billion (Int$ 535 billion). Over the last two decades, this has increased by almost three times. In India, eliminating cataract blindness requires a significant increase in surgical intervention and despite the safety and effectiveness of cataract surgery, only 54% of individuals with cataracts actually undergo the procedure.
 
Practo Foundation’s work aligns with this critical need. Last year, during health screenings of 1300+ beneficiaries, cataracts emerged as a prominent concern, constituting over 18% of overall healthcare issues. Witnessing the significant number of individuals living with preventable blindness motivated the Foundation to address this issue head-on.
 
Shailendra Singh, MD, Peak XV and Supporter of Practo Foundation said, “Since its inception, Practo’s mission has been to help improve healthcare in India. It has been a great privilege for Peak XV to be a part of this journey for over a decade, right from the seed stage. I have also been thrilled to be able to support the Practo Foundation in my personal capacity as an anchor donor. The Foundation’s impact-driven vision and purpose to help improve access to healthcare for those who need it the most is truly inspiring.
 
To date, the Foundation has helped provide free cataract surgeries to close to 2000 individuals, across Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, at an average cost of INR 2000 per surgery. Among the beneficiaries, 58% were farmers, followed by 20% daily wage earners and 19% were unemployed. Additionally, 65% of the beneficiaries were aged 61 – 80 and 59% were female.

“We envision a future where Indians are empowered to lead fulfilling lives, free from preventable illnesses, while maintaining their productivity. Despite facing increased vulnerability with age, middle-aged and older Indians remain the backbone of our communities, shouldering significant responsibilities. Through targeted support and healthcare solutions, we aim to protect their well-being and enhance their productivity. Our vision is to create a world where aging gracefully is achievable for everyone,” says Shashank ND, Trustee of Practo Foundation, and CEO & Co-founder of Practo.
 
Surabhi Patodia, Founder Trustee of Practo Foundation and AVP – Communications & Content, said, “Cataracts are just the start—a key step in our journey towards bigger changes. Each surgery builds trust and paves the way for our larger goal, which is to build self-sustaining communities. Together with our healthcare partners, we want to restore dignity and purpose in the lives of the economically disadvantaged by providing essential healthcare services in their vicinity.”
 
To bridge the gaps for scalability, sustainability, and outcome of various government initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, the Foundation, together with its partners such LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPIE) and Pushpagiri Vitreo Retina Institute (PVRI) actively works towards awareness of government welfare schemes (national and state) at the ground level and drives them for increased utilization.
 
With the evolving needs of the underserved community, Practo Foundation has operated across three phases since its inception, each serving a different need. As of now, the Foundation has partnered with close to 20 NGO & hospital partners to touch the lives of 50,000 individuals.
 
Approach to Camps and Screening:
 
Practo Foundation’s approach to screening goes beyond mere accessibility, it organizes healthcare checkup camps, identifies and screens hospital partners, and ensures consistent quality throughout the process. By strategically organizing camps closer to beneficiary residences, and minimizing travel distance, Practo Foundation partners with local administrative officials to streamline the process and improve attendance rates. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are implemented at every stage, guaranteeing standardized and efficient processes. Surgical eligibility is carefully assessed, and consent forms are obtained from beneficiaries before each surgery. Post-operative care protocols are rigorously followed to minimize the risk of reinfection, with beneficiaries educated on proper care practices. Regular audits ensure operational integrity, ensuring surgeries are executed seamlessly without any gaps. Each camp operates with the utmost quality and integrity, delivering essential healthcare services to those in need.