The Upside series n. 2: Repurposing

25 May 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 panedmic, VisionSpring has redeployed its people power and repurposed its procurement and supply capacity to help prevent the spread of the virus.

For some organizations, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic is more than just an option. It’s an obligation. They not only have the right skill set and network, but a clear comparative advantage when it comes to jumping in and making a difference.

VisionSpring normally works to screen and provide eyeglasses for people earning less than $4 / day in Bangladesh (where we fund them), as well as in India, Vietnam, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia.

Their eye screening work interacts with community health workers, hospitals, government health ministries, supply chain providers and the manufacturing sector (they produce the glasses they sell) and the communities they serve. 

Since the beginning of the crisis, VisionSpring has redeployed its people power and repurposed its procurement and supply capacity to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Here’s how.

With a network of 350 health care organisations to leverage, as well as supply chain centres in India and China and several logistics providers in key markets globally, VisionSpring is providing personal protective equipment - masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, coveralls and gowns - to ensure frontline health workers have what they need to do their jobs safely.

Mask wearing in public is especially important in densely populated urban communities. VisionSpring is working through its pre-existing partnerships in the garment sector and with artisan groups to produce re-usable two-ply cotton cloth masks for distribution in low-income communities and for health centres to provide to all patients entering their facilities.

Business disruptions are disproportionately affecting hourly labourers, transport workers and migrant populations. VisionSpring has redeployed its vision camp mobile teams to provide food relief and hygiene items, together with public health information in the communities they normally serve – like truckers in the largest transit hub in Asia

Cartier Philanthropy is actively contributing to VisionSpring’s plan to provide 1 million units of personal protective equipment, 250,000 cloth masks and 30,000 community COVID-19 hygiene and food kits over the next weeks.

Check out the first article of the series The Upside : Focus shift.