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EDITORIAL
Year : 1995  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1

Combating cataract


Arvind Eye Hospital Madurai, India

Correspondence Address:
G Venkataswamy
Arvind Eye Hospital Madurai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 8522362

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How to cite this article:
Venkataswamy G. Combating cataract. Indian J Ophthalmol 1995;43:1

How to cite this URL:
Venkataswamy G. Combating cataract. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1995 [cited 2019 Oct 23];43:1. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1995/43/1/1/25269

To combat the backlog of cataract cases and the increasing rate of blindness on a war-footing, the Government of India has received financial assistance from the World Bank for the control of cataract blindness in seven States (Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan). Under this project, a new strategy has been evolved wherein the district has been made as the operational unit. Every district has been asked to form a blindness control society which will be registered under the Societies Act. The Society will have the District Collector or Municipal Commissioner as the Chairperson and the other members will be from the government and non-government sectors. There will be a full-time District Blindness Control Manager to facilitate the work of the Society, The District Blindness Control Society will receive funds directly from the Central Government. Under the programme, an annual target of 6,000 cataract surgeries has been set for each district.

The Lions Club International Foundation has launched the SightFirst Project and has raised $ 140 million to reduce the incidence of avoidable blindness globally with a special focus on the developing countries. India is expected to get a substantial share of the aid as the Lions movement in India is supportive and the need being greatest. Needless to say, the Sight Savers and Christoffel Blinden Mission continue to play a critical role in India.

Fortunately, the intraocular lens (IOL) implantation is steadily gaining acceptance among the masses due to the low cost of the indigenously produced IOLs, high success rate, and simple postoperative care. But this alone is not enough.

To clear the backlog of cataract cases and tackle the rising incidence, our 8,000 (an approximate) eye surgeons will have to perform 5 to 6 million cataract operations annually as against the present rate of 1.7 million cataract operations per year. This calls for providing infrastructure facilities for those practitioners working in private or voluntary institutions. For instance, to establish more institutions that will churn out more trained paramedical personnel who in turn will increase the surgical productivity of the practitioners.

Yet another way of combating the problem is to encourage private practitioners to either set up group practice or join existing institutes thereby ensuring better national health and, in turn, a better national economy. Further, if many more institutions are set up with a sound infrastructure involving trained hospital administrators for efficient hospital management and social marketing, the much-needed balance of public awareness, resource utilization, and eyecare management and delivery would be the icing on the cake.

Access to eye care facilities should not be confined to urban areas alone, instead every district should have a well-established eye hospital with the necessary infrastructure and specialities. Under the umbrella of eye care, in the years to come, we certainly can provide good eye sight to one and all.



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