Partnership brings self-sustaining, long term eye care to indigenous children in northern Ontario
The Indigenous Children Eye Examination (ICEE) Project aims to provide vision screening and eye examinations for all children and youth aged six months to 18 years served by WAHA, and to develop a self-sustaining model of ensuring ongoing eye care for the pediatric population there.
The project aims to deliver eye care to over six thousand children in the following communities along the James and Hudson bay: Weenusk First Nation, Fort Albany First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Attawapiskat First Nation, Moose Cree First Nation, and the Town of Moosonee.
Through the ICEE program, once local nursing staff have been trained most children examined who need follow-up will be able to be treated locally. This will begin the transition of the program into a self-sustaining, long-term model of eye care for the local children.
Indigenous children potentially impacted
The WAHA and McMaster teams are confident that the results of the ICEE project can act as a major catalyst towards enabling other health-care providers to create a uniquely Indigenous-focused vision care program for the many other children in other underserved parts of Canada.
This model, once successfully implemented, can become a template for self-sustained, evidence-based health-care administration in many other rural communities within Canada and around the world.
The project is being funded by the Jordan’s Principle branch of the Federal Ministry of Indigenous Services Canada.