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Working with Forus health to decrease preventable blindness among India's poor
Yana Chernyak
1 Team Member

This IDEX Fellow Campaign is a sponsored project of IDEX Fellowship and Gray Matters Capital Foundation.

A little bit about the project

I'm Yana, a DC native who can't seem to stay put.

I've spent the past two years working in healthcare research and consulting which has bred in me a powerful desire to take my knowledge and use it to effect positive change on the ground. My passion is improving the healthcare sector by streamlining the delivery of care and creating incentives for providers and patients to work toward common goals.

When I learned about all the technological and process changes revolutionizing Indian healthcare by improving services for current patients and forging relationships with the community to provide care to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it, I knew immediately that it is this kind of visionary change that I want to be a part of, collaborating with others who are as passionate as I am about creating a better world through private enterprise.

Given the opportunity to work with a company which provides low-cost health technology to help solve one of India's major health care problems. 25% of the world’s blind people, some 12 million, are in India. 80 percent of these people are blind as a result of a lack of screening and a lack of ophthalmologists in rural areas. Forus invented “a single, portable, intelligent, noninvasive, eye prescreening device” that can identify all five of these major ailments and can be run by a trained technician, who connects patients to a doctor through telemedicine if they need it.

How you can help me combat blindness in India

I'll be working on connecting the technology to parts of the community where people can be identified for screening even if they don't regularly see a doctor, such as reading centers. I am really looking forward to making an impact on the front lines of healthcare for those who need it most. Especially for such an important cause.

My total cost for doing the program (including training, housing, airfare and living expenses of about $250 a month) is about $5,000. I'm able to cover about 40% of this cost and any additional costs I incur along the way but am raising money to cover the other 60% of my time in India. Any amount you can contribute - even a symbolic $5 - will really make a difference. 

As a thank you, I can send a bit of India back to you through the perks below.

$10 - Thank You Postcard

$75 - Spice Merchant

$250 - Personal Shopper

For contributing any amount, I'll add you to a biweekly email about my time in Bangalore. And even if you can't contribute, you can help by sharing my upcoming adventure with your friends and family or by simply sending along some words of encouragement!

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
60% funded
No time left
$3,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on July 1, 2013
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Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    Thank You Postcard

    This money will help me get around Bangalore. To thank you, I'll send you a postcard with a tidbit about my experience so far!

    15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $75USD
    Spice Merchant

    This amount will cover my food costs for at least a week. In return, I'll share with you either an assortment of Indian teas or spices. Both options come with recipes and instructions for how to best savor them.

    5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $200USD
    Personal Shopper

    This amount will cover about a month of living costs in India. I know you've been looking for a new piece to spice up your living room, an outfit nobody else has, or some jewelry to impress your mom. Let me know what you're interested in and I will be your eyes and ears at the market to see what's available and get it to you.

    1 claimed
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