Dear Readers,
Welcome to the third issue of SiteNews! The last issue had a great response with more than 220 new registrations and we hope to maintain the momentum! This edition of SiteNews includes an overview of the site complete with a country wise registration map. In "the Way it Works" section we also explain the site's new Calendar feature.
Each issue carries a featured product and the highlighted product, in this issue we feature the immensely useful "Magnitude of Cataract Blindness Estimation Tool". In addition the issue includes all the regular features of the newsletter (Subscription & Registration Information, How to Contribute, Announcements and Events etc).
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is this month's featured collaborating partner.
Looking forward to bringing you more information, innovation and inspiration each month!
Wish you a productive reading!

Happy reading!
Vision 2020 e-resource team
The Issue Features...
Magnitude of Cataract Blindness Estimation Tool
Vol. 1 No.6 June 2004
•   Vision2020 e-resource
•   The Way it Works
•   Featured Product
•   Collaborating partner


More than 90% of the world's blind population lives in developing countries. So there is an urge to promote resource sharing and a community-based approach to eye health among developing countries. This needs more training for people to implement the strategies and we need a platform to make this happen. Today as internet and e-mail are becoming so common and it reaches more number of people across the world, we decided to take the advantage of this medium to reach the community and launched the website for Management resources in eye care, the Vision 2020 e-resource on April 7, 2004, on the World Health Day.

Since the launch in April, the site has been accessed by users across the world from 62 countries and after the second issue of SiteNews, this number jumped to 82 and the number of registered users has increased from 346 to 607. Encouraged by this response we have been working hard to further develop the resources the site has to offer.

The following map provides details on the distribution of the users of this site all over the world.


This month we want to elucidate the Calendar section of Vision 2020 e-resource. The calendar lists the eye care events, conferences, and training programmes happening around the world. It focuses on international, regional, national and state level events. This is like a repository of the eye care events.

The calendar provides you details on the eye care event by providing:

  • Commencement date
  • Ending date
  • Name of the event
  • Place
  • Details regarding the registration and contact address

We have also provided one Submit icon to enable you to submit your Eye Care event to the directory.

How to start the search?

Users are expected to click on the link "Calendar" provided on the top right corner of the homepage of the site. This will lead you to the Calendar page directly. The page contains the calendar on the left side where you need to choose the month and year from the drop down list boxes provided. The page will be automatically refreshed according to your choice of month and year and the events will be displayed in a table like manner with five columns which are mentioned above. You do not need to be a registered member or login to access calendar.

Submitting Events:

If you are a registered member you can submit your eye care event in our calendar by clicking on the "Submit" icon provided below the calendar in the calendar page. Once you click on the icon a pop-up window will emerge with boxes for Event, Place, Contact details, comments and the commencement and ending date of the event. Once all the details are filled up, please click on the "Save" icon to save the details in our database. Show screen again

Sample Search

Take a look at the calendar with the following demo.

This link leads you to the Calendar page.

We are eager to hear any feedback or suggestions about its user-friendliness. Our aim is to make this site as useful and as easy-to-use as possible for you. And with your help we can make it happen!


This section features one of the most significant products in our website which has been voted as best product by the users itself -. Magnitude of Cataract Blindness Estimation Tool. Currently the site contains the spreadsheets for Refractive Errors and Diabetic Retinopathy the automatic calculation of blindness estimation in a service area population. There are also other tools for Investment analysis for Phaco & Yag laser, Existing Eye Hospital Strategic planning tool, Assessing needs for starting a new Eye Hospital, and Investment Analysis for General Equipments. All the tools are provided with user manual which will give you step by step information of how to use the tool. Some tools are also provided with PowerPoint broadcast to have a practical usage of the spreadsheet. The brief explanation of the Magnitude of Cataract Blindness Estimation tool can be found in the following paragraphs with its abstract and guideline.

Magnitude of Cataract Blindness Estimation Tool:

Abstract: This tool will help you to find the magnitude of blindness in the given service area Population and also estimate the Incidence of blindness in the given service area population. The Users of this tool are any new Eye Hospitals before its set up, already existing Hospitals and Consultants or Private practitioners. This tool is been developed by our Faculty Mr. S. Saravanan, and Mr. Praveen K Nirmalan with the guidance of our Executive Director, Mr. R. D. Thulasiraj. Please mention the authors and you could put in a group photo of them

Guideline: In order to know the potential for an eye hospital we need to estimate the magnitude of blindness in the service area population. This tool will help to calculate annual incidence of cataract blindness and the cataract surgery market for the given service area population. Three concepts are used to estimate the "market" for cataract surgery for a given service population. The tool can be used by eye care organizations who want to conduct outreach camps in particular service area. Details on how to use the tool can be obtained via the User Manual which gives you the step by step explanation on how to use the tool and the Tutorial which provides a practical usage of the tool.

Please have a look at the product here: Cataract Blindness Estimation tool


We are delighted to collaborate with other eye care resource centres and eye care websites and in this section wish to feature one of our close collaborating partners: The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
The IAPB was established in 1975 as a coordinating, umbrella organisation to lead an international effort in mobilising resources for blindness prevention activities. Its first major achievement was to promote the establishment of a WHO Programme for Prevention of Blindness, with which it has remained strongly linked. A significant feature of the IAPB over the past decade has been the growth of a network of international non-governmental organisations. These organisations are active at all levels of eye health provision, including health education, mobile eye care services, secondary and tertiary eye hospitals and clinics, and the training of national personnel.

Aravind has been connected with IAPB and Taskforce for the past 25 years. They have played an active supporting role in the eye care management workshops run by the Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology. Deepening this connection is the fact that the Vision 2020 SEAR Secretariat is now headquartered in the LAICO building. Aravind's collaboration with IAPB with respect to the Vision 2020 e-resource centre is the natural extension of a long and fruitful connection in service. Our Executive Director Mr. R.D. Thulasiraj presented a demo of the site at the IAPB-Taskforce meeting held in Geneva this February that met with a great deal of interest. IAPB has given the site permission to include its own site as a link and we are actively looking into ways of strengthening the partnership.