Blindness, a preventable problem
Poor vision is the largest unaddressed disability in the world today. But 4 out of 5 cases of blindness can be prevented if vision problems are detected and treated early. In the Philippines alone, more than two million people are living with visual impairment, and 62% of them have cataracts.
There was a need to make people aware of simple, free, and accessible vision screenings, which can help them in terms of finances as well as prevent poor eyesight from progressing into blindness or other eye diseases. It was also important that they know a specific organization such as The Fred Hollows Foundation that can connect them with doctors and walk them through the steps of early detection for eye health issues.
Eye Health Ally: The Fred Hollows Foundation in the Philippines
The Fred Hollows Foundation is an international eye health organization which is present in 25 countries worldwide. Since 2014, The Foundation has been working in 6 provinces across the Philippines to conduct vision screening, comprehensive eye health programs, and provide free eye treatment and surgeries—especially in marginalized communities.
The Foundation has always served communities through local hospitals and health centers. But the COVID-19 pandemic changed this. Access to many health care services was disrupted, putting more people at risk of going blind.
And as the Philippines shifted to online learning and schooling, eye screening in schools, which were proven to be effective in detecting vision problems among children, were put on hold.
Bringing eye health online and into the home
In order to continue its on-the-ground work in local communities, The Fred Hollows Foundation, in partnership with Novartis, launched Lusog Mata: Eye-Check ang Pamilya.
This online educational campaign empowered parents to take charge of their family’s eye health by conducting vision screening at home and eventually seek the necessary treatment from eye specialists.
Using Facebook as the main platform of communication, we created bite-sized educational posts that taught parents how to do vision screening at home. We also shared inspiring testimonial stories from the campaign’s beneficiaries.
In a span of six months, the campaign reached 2,660,039 people and engaged 183,393 Filipinos nationwide. An online submission system was set up to connect beneficiaries to Lusog Mata partner optometrists and ophthalmologists, and generated 2,028 referrals.
Getting leads, changing lives
With our lead generation system and Facebook message ads, our budget of PhP 95,000 for six months started a total of 5,811 conversations.
As of March 2021, 3,939 people were prescribed free eyeglasses and 162 beneficiaries received free cataract surgeries. That’s 4,101 lives changed because they can see better!
The Lusog Mata: Eye Check ang Pamilya campaign helped educate Filipinos on the importance of eye health, and taught them that awareness and prevention of blindness can start at home.
When parents are educated on the early signs of vision impairment, they can take the right action, seek necessary treatment, and save their children’s sight.