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Government looks at India Eye Center takeover

Zewditu Memorial Hospital is in talks with the Indian’s Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) to purchase the India Eye Care Centre which has been closed for the last two years because of violations. The eye care center which consumed USD 2.5 million to build and install machines, opened in March 2014 inside the compound of Zewditu Hospital. However, it was soon closed when the government discovered the center was charging high fees when it was supposed to provide subsidized services for the poor.  Zelalaem Chemdisa, CEO of Zewditu Memorial Hospital  told Capital that they  plan give OIA money so they can own the center.
“It is painful to see the center closed and lack of services. We are willing to help compensate OIA for the money they put into the center and we have gotten a positive response. It everything works out we hope to reopen the center.”
The center which has 15 bed dedicated state of the art and ultra-modern Ophthalmology facility Center was built  to  offer relief to patients suffering from conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes related eye problems and plastic surgery around the eyes. The facility also has an in-house training center for surgeons, paramedics and administrative staff to improve local human resources and was built in technical collaboration with an Indian center of excellence which provides medical advisory and consultancy services.
OIA had planned to treat 100,000 patients and perform 10,000 sight restoring surgeries at the Center in about three years and also planed to introduce Mobile Eye Care Clinics in the remote areas.
Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) is a project development and management company with offices in India, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Sudan and Maldives.
Over 285 million people around the world suffer from visual impairments, and over 80% of their suffering is easily avoidable.
According to the Vision2020 report, it is a little known fact that 90% of visually impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries, over two-thirds are women, and 65% are over 50. This is primarily because they lack access to optical help, with some countries having less than one ophthalmologist per million people. The lack of access to eye care services is leading to blindness, caused by avoidable or curable conditions.


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