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Venkaiah Naidu on Eye Care

The following is an excerpt of a Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at the Inauguration of the 32nd Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery Convention 2018

“According to Naidu, unlike in the past when the impression was urban school children are more prone to eye ailments, now even in children in rural schools suffer from myopia.

Excessive exposure of children to video games, mobiles, computers, televisions has been adversely impacting their eye health. Moreover, India has become the diabetes capital of the world with as many as 50 million people suffering from type-2 diabetes. We can well imagine the multiple challenges before the ophthalmologists,”

Naidu said eye care in India has come a long way now and the growth of super-specialty eye hospitals across the country more so in South India testifies to the developments in the eye care sector. He also added, through the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB), the Central government has been making constant efforts since 1976 to reduce the prevalence of blindness in India.It has set the goal of reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.3% by the year 2020. As per the NPCB data, cataract continues to be one of the leading causes of blindness in India. Nearly 63% of people are blind due to cataract.

Similarly, around 20% of people are blind due to refractive error. Another major area of concern is ‘Diabetic Retinopathy’. It is the most well-known ocular complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness among people between 20-64 years.

Expressing his happiness at NPCB’s target of 50,000 eyes donation in 2017-18, Naidu said the actual achievement was 69,343 eyes donation.