Project WeCanC is a brainchild of Dr Agrawal and it is meant for patients with irreversible blindness. WeCanC – will translate as – “We” as “Patients”, “C” as – can see the Snellen chart or can see the day light or can see the future or can see the light at the end of the tunnel. If there are 50% of patients blind with the cataract or other causes of reversible blindness, there are another 50% people blind with retinal diseases or optic nerve disease including but not limited to diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Using modern day technology, the patients with retinal disease can be diagnosed at early stage and using the model of integrated care, intervention can be performed in needy individuals.
Retinitis Pigmentosa is a degenerative condition of the retina and a hereditary disease which can result in night blindness and reduced field of vision and can significantly affect the vision resulting in blindness. It affects people in young socioeconomically productive age group ( 20-50 years of age) and affect the lifestyle of the individual and that can add burden to the family and community.
Under the umbrella project of Project WeCanC – team of VHF will collaborate with different NGOs, philanthropists, donors to raise funds to:
1. Create awareness about the causes of blindness other than cataract.
2. Create a database for patients with irreversible blindness.
3. Screen out the patients which can be managed by team of expert eye care professionals.
4. Identify the causes of irreversible blindness.
5. Create a centralised registry for patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
6. Set up an eye screening and diagnostic unit to perform all the baseline eye test including visual field and electrophysiology.
7. Set up a laboratory to collect blood for gene testing and assess eligibility of the patients for regenerative cell therapy using stem cell or gene therapy.
8. Set up a dedicated unit for counselling, education and low vision aids
9. Set up a unit for rehabilitation – both social and vocational rehabilitation
10. Set up a centre for assistive technology
11. Collaborate with leading engineering and research centres to set up a unit for indigenous assistive technology
12. Liaise with regulatory authorities to set up policy for phase I clinical trials for gene therapy and stem cell therapy
13. Set up centre for retinal prosthesis – to manufacture and implant the retinal prosthesis for patients with retinal disease.
Based on core values of foundation using Knowledge, technology and humility, VHF will like to create a difference in lives of individuals with darkness in their relatively young age and give them a meaning to live and a reason for self-belief.