25 Oct :Maharashtra is one of the best performing States in respect of National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) keeping in view the performance indicators like Cataract Surgeries, School Eye Screening Programme, Collection of Donated Eyes etc. under the Programme.
It has been proposed to provide assistance for up-gradation of one of the Medical Colleges as Regional Institute of Ophthalmology in Maharashtra during the 11th Five Year Plan under NPCB.
As per the Report on National Survey on Blindness & Visual Outcomes after Cataract Surgery, individuals residing in the rural areas had significantly higher rates of blindness and low vision compared to their counterparts staying in the urban areas.
The following strategies have been planned by Government to combat blindness:-
1. Setting up of State/District Health Societies (NPCB) in States/UTs;
2. Providing Eye care facilities to the needy people at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels through Primary Health Centres, District Hospitals, Medical Colleges and Regional Institutes of Ophthalmology;
3. Strengthening of Eye Banks in Government/Voluntary Sector;
4. Financial support to NGOs for strengthening existing infrastructure for Eye care.
5. Organizing Eye Donation Fortnight from 25th August to 8th September every year to promote eye donation;
6. Screening of School Children for detection of refractive errors and providing free spectacles to poor children;
7. Training to Eye Surgeons from Government Hospitals and Medical Colleges for quality eye care;
8. Intensification of IEC activities to create awareness about eye care activities;
9. Support for construction of dedicated Eye Wards and Eye Operation Theatres in NE States and few other States;
10. Setting up of Mobile Ophthalmic Units linked with Tele-Ophthalmology Network in NE States and other hilly States;
11. Support to Non-Governmental Organizations for cataract and other eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma management, childhood blindness etc.;
12. Involvement of private practitioners for management of eye diseases.
This information was given by Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Health & family Welfare in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.