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Eye camps for older people

Eye camps for older people


Impaired vision can make older persons dependent and vulnerable. Approximately 25% of the older persons in Sri Lanka are reported to be losing eye-sight due to cataract. The majority of these persons are either unaware of their condition or are unable to afford surgeries. The majority of the population living in the Division of Wellawaya come from low income backgrounds. They face many barriers in accessing healthcare and related facilities and most are unable to pay for eye glasses or afford to buy the lens in cataract operations. HelpAge Sri Lanka came forward to support the older persons living in Wellawaya with a mobile eye camp. The qualified and trained personnel of HelpAge tested the eyesight of participants, provided free reading glasses where necessary, provided free prescription glasses, provided guidance on proper eye care and directed those who required cataract surgeries to their eye hospital in Colombo. This Eye Hospital carries out free cataract surgeries and provides the lens free of charge.For a week the mobile eye care unit, a converted bus, traveled within the city conducting eye camps in seven pre-selected venues. The bus was fully equipped with facilities to screen eye-sight with a team of professions. The Elders’ Committees of each division coordinated the event while the Buddhist monks of each division provided space in their temples to conduct the camps. A total of around 700 elders benefited from the first round of camps.


Key facts

Main target group: Older people in general

Other target group(s): Persons Living with Disabilities, People with mobility challenges, Younger people, Public sector, Private sector, Civil society organisations, Volunteers

Sector(s): Health

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Accessibility
  • Inequities

Contact details

Name: Attanayake, Senarath

Email address:

Preferred language(s): English

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

Engaging the wider community

Project lead: Local authorities