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EXPEDITED PUBLICATION, ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 69  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 695-700

The impact of COVID-19 “Unlock-I” on L V Prasad Eye Institute Network in Southern India


1 Allen Foster Community Eye Health Research Centre, Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eyecare; Brien Holden Eye Research Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
2 Brien Holden Eye Research Centre; Kallam Anji Reddy Campus, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
3 Grandhi Mallikarjun Rao Varalakshmi Campus, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
4 Mithu Tulsi Chanrai Campus, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswara, Odisha, India
5 Kode Venkatadri Chowdary Campus, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Vijayawada, India
6 Allen Foster Community Eye Health Research Centre, Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eyecare; Brien Holden Eye Research Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad; School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Wellcome Trust/Department of Biotechnology India Alliance Research Fellow, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
7 Brien Holden Eye Research Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute; Department of eyeSmart EMR & AEye, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
8 Allen Foster Community Eye Health Research Centre, Gullapalli Pratibha Rao International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eyecare; Brien Holden Eye Research Centre, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India; School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rohit C Khanna
L V Prasad Eye Institute, L V Prasad Marg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad - 500 034, Telangana

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_3143_20

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Purpose: The aim of this study was to report on the impact of COVID-19 “Unlock-I” on Network of Eye Centers in Southern India. Methods: Our eye health pyramid model has a network of eye care centers in four Indian states. The network constitutes a center of excellence (CoE) at the apex followed by tertiary care centers (TC) located in urban areas, secondary care centers (SC), and primary care vision centers (VC) at the base located in rural areas. We collected data on patients seen between June 2019 and June 2020, which included age, gender, total patients seen (new or follow-up), and socioeconomic status (paying and nonpaying). A comparative study was done between the data for outpatients and surgeries performed pre-COVID-19 and during Unlock-I in COVID-19 period. Results: There was a 36.71% reduction in the overall outpatients seen in June 2020 (n = 83,161) compared to June 2019 (n = 131,395). The reduction was variable across different levels of the pyramid with the highest reduction in CoE (54.18%), followed by TCs (40.37%), SCs (30.49%) and VCs (18.85%). Similar pattern was seen for new paying patients with the highest reduction in CoE (54.22%), followed by TCs (25.86%) and SCs (4.9%). A 43.67% reduction was noted in the surgeries performed in June 2020 (n = 6,168), compared to June 2019 (n = 10,950). Reduction in paying services was highest in CoE (47.52%), followed by TCs (15.17%) and SCs (4.87%). There was no significant change in the uptake of services by gender in the network. Conclusion: Highest reduction in patient footfalls during “Unlock-1” was noted in urban centers. Going forward, there is a need to develop strategies to provide eye care closer to the doorsteps.


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