Mangaluru: Minister for Health and Family Welfare U T Khader held a press meet at the Circuit house here on February 8.
Addressing the mediapersons Khader said that the health department is bringing new schemes to make the state Blind free. Children from 1 to 16 years will get free spectacles if they have any eye sight problems. Also people having BPL cards and above 40-years of age facing eye sight problems will be given free spectacles.
Khader further said that in every hospital be it government of private, cataract surgery will be free of cost for everyone. Government has implemented various health schemes for the people but they are not aware of the schemes. The concerned department should bring awareness among the people to avail the benefit of the schemes.
Khader also met the members of the Eye Vision Committee and discussed about the State Eye Health Policy and how to efficiently utilize the funds.
Chairperson of the Eye Vision Committee Dr Prasad briefing on the activities of the committee said that because of the Health minister we have been able to distribute free spectacles to the BPL card holders. He also said that to improve the eye vision service the government, Vision document will be implemented. From many years with the help of the Union government, the National Programme of Control of Blindness (NPCB) has been implemented and the blindness rate is decreased drastically from 1.9% to 1%.
He further said that last year 3,64,000 cataract surgeries were performed in the state of which 7% surgeries were performed in medical colleges. 5.28% in district hospitals, 42.55% surgeries were performed by NGO’s and 38.3% surgeries were performed in the Primary health centers.
He also said that there is a need to strictly implement the policy to prevent people being affected from other eye related diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, childhood blindness, intra uterine causes, corneal scarring, squint, refractive errors, Vitamin A deficiency, retinopathy of pre maturity in cases of neonatal’s and ophthalmic neonatarum.
He further said that the following measures will be taken:
To deliberate on key issues on strengthening the implementation of National programme of control of blindness, identify gaps in the programme implementation.
To deliberate on identifying gaps, strategies to strengthen the existing hospitals, to plug the loopholes so as the delivery of eye care services is more qualitative and covers a wider population.
The impetus will be more on identifying the refractive error at an early stage for the school going children.
Distribution of free spectacles, screening and giving presbyopic correction to the aged persons apart from cataract surgeries, diagnosis and treatment of other eye diseases.
strategies to maximise the potential of eye surgeons by redeploying them at secondary and tertiary level and equipping them with the latest equipments.
Involvement of all medical colleges in the effective implementation of the national programme to control blindness.
Involvement of non-governmental organizations in treating the causes of blindness other than cataract.
Members of Eye Vision Committee Dr Raghunandana, Dr Ratna, Dr T K Ramesh, Dr Venkatesh and others were also present.