Press Release: VisionSpring Raises $1.5 Million for India COVID-19 Response and Will Deliver More Than 1,000 Oxygen Concentrators to Expand Care
VisionSpring (www.visionspring.org), the pioneering social enterprise, has secured an initial $1.5 million in emergency response commitments for the COVID-19 crisis in India and will deliver more than 1,000 oxygen concentrators and other COVID-19 care and safety supplies to frontline health workers.
Known for creating access to eyeglasses for people living on less than $4 per day, VisionSpring pivoted its operations to emergency response in the race to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19 in India.
VisionSpring’s four-pillar response is rooted in meeting critical and urgent needs in low-income communities and within its network of 200 health and eye care partners across India.
- Personal Protective Equipment & COVID-19 Supplies for Frontline Workers: In addition to 1,000 sponsored oxygen concentrators already being dispatched, VisionSpring has distributed 1.4 million units of PPE within India since the start of the pandemic.
- Cloth Masks and Hygiene Kits: To guard against economic hardship for women artisans, VisionSpring commissioned an additional 50,000 cotton masks from the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Bharat, totaling 500,000 produced since the start of the pandemic.
- Handwashing Stations: With 40 delivered in recent weeks, an additional 200 specially designed handwashing stations are being fabricated in Delhi.
- Infection Prevention Information and Vaccine Mobilization: VisionSpring will integrate vaccine registration and hesitancy counseling into its thousands of COVID-safe vision outreach programs when they restart in the future.
“India’s fierce second wave of COVID-19 has exposed huge shortages in the health care system, not least the gap between demand and supply of medical equipment. To help bridge this, we are grateful to partner with VisionSpring to supply 500+ oxygen concentrators to various healthcare facilities as part of our emergency response to Covid relief requirements on the ground,” said Atul Satija, CEO and Founder 2.0 of GiveIndia, the online fundraising platform of nonprofit Give Foundation.
VisionSpring’s response is supported by partners including Warby Parker, National Vision Inc., Skoll Foundation, The Canary Charitable Foundation, The McNulty Foundation, ClearVision, Safeway Concessions (Siddhantham Tollway Private Limited), Touch of Color Foundation, SEWA Bharat, World Zoroastrian Organization US Region, Zarin Neville Foundation, International Medical Corps, and Anheuser Busch InBev.
“Our emergency deployment builds on a year of COVID-19 mitigation activities in low-income communities. The flexible support of our funders and fantastic collaboration with partners has enabled us to quickly adapt,” said Ella Gudwin, VisionSpring, CEO. “We are meeting the urgent need for COVID-19 treatment capacity now, and are also focused on the long-term public health objectives of prevention and expanding vaccination coverage.”
In March 2020, VisionSpring retooled its global supply chain to respond to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Within two weeks of the first lockdown in India, they delivered their first orders of PPE. By year-end, they had provided over 2.8 million units of PPE and other COVID-19 supplies to 161 partners in India, Bangladesh, and five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
VisionSpring also developed the first COVID-safe vision outreach protocols to deliver Vision Access Programs in informal settlements, factories, tea gardens, artisan cooperatives, transport hubs, and rural villages. They innovated their approach to donor engagement, creating virtual site visits to showcase COVID-19 prevention campaigns in Delhi and Rajasthan, India.
More information about VisionSpring’s COVID-19 response can be found at COVID19.visionspring.org.
Photo courtesy of Trinity Care Foundation.