Specialist doctors at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, are part of global research programme comprising a four-country suite of trials examining the impact of glasses on promoting better living from childhood to old age.
The project termed ENGINE (Eyecare Nurtures Good health, Innovation, driving safety and Education) consists of four research trials in India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Apart from examining the impact of glasses on promoting better living, it will also study the impact on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said Rohit Khanna, director of Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye care (GPR ICARE) at LVPEI.
Led by Nathan Congdon of Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in the UK and Dr Khanna, various universities, schools, non-governmental organisations, public health bodies, government ministries, institutions and patient groups are part of the multi-disciplinary study team.
Senior public health specialists Srinivas Marmamula and Asha Latha Metla, along with senior retina consultant Raja Narayanan from LVPEI are also part of the study.
“ENGINE is a five-year project designed to leverage high-quality research results to drive lasting policy change and achieve an improved quality of life for people in low and middle-income countries,” Dr Khanna said.
In collaboration with the Queen’s University of Belfast, LVPEI along with nearly 30 other partners from the USA, UK, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and India, is working on a suite of studies to explore the impact of vision care on the global level to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in low and middle-income countries. The study has received funding support of £3.5 million from the Wellcome Trust and Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation.
One of the research projects part of the study is CLEVER (Cognitive Level Enhancement through Vision Exams and Refraction) that supports the Indian government’s strategy of finding scalable, low-cost means of preventing dementia. This is built upon the work done in homes for the aged project funded by Wellcome Trust India Alliance, informed a press note.
About 8.8 million people in India are blind, and another 47 million people are visually impaired. Around 70% of the blindness the world over is preventable.