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National Blindness Control Programme

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National Blindness Control Programme
Detailed Information Regarding Eye Donation
Expected Community Participation
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Historical Background/Periodical Development
Control of Blindness activities started during 1972–73, as Trachoma Control Programme. From 1976–77 it was converted into National Programme for Control of Blindness. It is 100% centrally sponsored programme.

Cataract is the main reason for the blindness and 62% of the blinds in the State are due to cataract only. The goal set for the terminal year of the 10th Plan is to reduce the prevalence of blindness to 0.8% by 2007.

  • To provide high quality of eye care to the affected population.
  • To expand coverage of eye care services to the underserved areas.
  • To reduce the backlog of blindness by identifying and providing services to the affected population.
  • To develop institutional capacity for eye care services by providing support for equipment and material and training personnel.

Strategy of National Blindness Control Programme
Decentralized implementation of the scheme through District Blindness Control Society.

Reduction in the backlog of the blind person by active screening of population above 50 years, organizing screening eye camp and transporting operable cases to eye care facilities.

Involvement of voluntary organization in various eye care activities.

Participations of community and Panchayat Raj institutions in organizing services in rural areas.

Development of eye care services and improvement in quality of eye care by training of personnel, supply of high tech equipments, Strengthening follow up services and monitoring of services.

Screening of school going children for identification and treatment of Refractive Errors, with special attention in under served areas.

Public awareness about prevention and timely treatment of eye ailments.

Special focus on illiterate women in rural areas. For this purpose, there should be convergence with various ongoing schemes for development of women & children.

To make eye care comprehensive, besides cataract surgeries other Intra Ocular Surgical operations for treatment of Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy etc. may also be provided free of cost to the poor patients through governments as well as qualified non government organizations.
  • Till 2020 cataract surgeries per lakh will be 600 & 100% surgeries will be Intra Ocular Lens (IOL) techniques.
  • Childhood blindness.
  • Training in low vision services.
  • Prevent corneal blindness.
  • Treatment on Glaucoma cases.
  • Treatment on diabetic retinopathy.
Services to Common People
  • Cataract Surgeries.
  • Services for Refractive Error.
  • Services for Corneal Blindness.
  • Diagnostic & treatment services about eye diseases.
  • Eye Donation.

Detailed Information Regarding Eye Donation
There are approximately 1.5 million corneal blind people in the country. Majority of them are in young age group. The sight can be restored only by corneal transplantation. Though there has been some progress in pledging of eye donation, only about 25000 eyes are collected every year in India. This is negligible compared to need of one lakh of cornea, particularly children, waiting for corneal transplantation. We need around one lakh corneas per year for transplantation purpose to clear the backlog and serve the incident cases.

Corneal blindness is important as it mostly occurs in childhood and productive adult age. Effective intervention may lead to substantial reduction in corneal blindness and reduce the demand of transplantation. Demand can be reduced by creating mass awareness amongst the people and make them aware about the causes/ symptoms and preventive eye care measure as corneal blindness is difficult to treat unlike Cataract and Refractive errors and therefore it is better to prevent the incident cases.

Almost anyone of any age can pledge to donate eyes after death. This can be done even if the donor wears glasses, has cataract or has undergone eye surgery successfully. All that is needed is a clear, healthy cornea. Eyes have to be removed within 6 hours of death. So the nearest eye bank or eye donation center must be informed immediately by the relatives of donor. In Maharashtra every District General Hospital & Govt. Medical Colleges have facilities of Eye Bank. Besides these many trust hospitals & NGO Hospitals also have Eye Bank. The persons who are interested to donate his eyes after death should contact to above hospitals & fill up the necessary form of pledging the eyes.

The donated eyes are never bought or sold. Eye donation is never refused.

Service Centers Available in Each District
Service centers available in Maharashtra

Sr no. Name of Institute No.
1 Govt. Medical Colleges 31
2 District Hospitals 26
3 Other Govt. Hospitals 9
4 District Mobile Units 38
5 Eye Hosp. Mandvi, Dist. Nanded 1
6 Base Hospital (Rural Hospital) 365
7 Strengthened Community Health Center (CHC) 9
8 strengthened Primary Health Center/Rural Hospital 612
9 Eye Banks 216
10 IOL Centers 209

List of Eye Banks/Eye Donation Centers registered under Human Organ Transplant Act in Maharashtra State.

Region Wise

Regions Total Performance upto (2007–08) Total Performance uptoJune(2008–09)
Thane Circle 186240 37467
Nasik Circle 106632 16307
Pune Circle 175424 49659
Aurangabad Circle 43347 8760
Latur Circle 50691 8489
Akola Circle 64354 7004
Nagpur Circle 85617 13483
State Total 712305 141169

District Wise

Sr.No District Total Performance (2007–08) Total Performance upto Junem(2008–09)
1 Raigad 15205 2771
2 Ratnagiri 9461 1826
3 Thane 56055 8389
4 Ahmednagar 25058 5801
5 Dhule 12694 3108
6 Nandurbar 8978 0
7 Jalgaon 24632 4388
8 Nasik 35270 3010
9 Pune 85642 24094
10 Solapur 28280 7703
11 Satara 18390 4371
12 Kolhapur 24243 5673
13 Sangli 18869 7818
14 Sindhudurg 5757 932
15 Aurangabad 20996 4641
16 Jalna 10199 2288
17 Parbhani 7626 1234
18 Hingoli 4526 597
19 Latur 15417 2161
20 Beed 14518 2924
21 Nanded 12931 2134
22 Osmanabad 7825 1270
23 Akola 11157 2168
24 Washim 6185 412
25 Amravati 18375 2261
26 Buldana 13039 611
27 Yavatmal 15598 1552
28 Bhandara 7755 1130
29 Gondia 5634 566
30 Chandrapur 10974 1115
31 Gadchiroli 5506 193
32 Nagpur 43722 8934
33 Wardha 12026 1545
34 Mumbai Corporation 99762 23549
 State Total 712305 141169

Expected Community Participation
  • Motivation of people for cataract surgery, to use the services available for eye care and refraction.
  • To organize the cataract surgery camps.
Role of NGOs
  • To organize cataract surgery camps in defined area.
  • To develop Eye Bank.
Important Health Education Messages
  • We share eye care.
  • You can make a difference. Let Eye Donation be your family tradition.
  • Let your eyes changes someone's life.
  • Money can't buy eyes. It is a gift only you can give, gift of sight.
  • Anyone of any age, can donate eyes
Role of other sectors
  • Role of Teacher in School Eye Screening programme.
  • Role of social welfare department in blinds schools.
  • Any other sector can help in cataract surgery, refraction & eye donation activity.
  • The goal is to reduce the prevalence of blindness to 0.8% by 2007.
Achievements of National Blindness Control Programme
Cataract surgeries performed since 2002–03

Year Annual Target Achievement % Achieve IOL Surgeries % of IOL Surgeries
2002–03 420000 480356 114 402633 83.8
2003–04 430000 519561 121 484558 93.2
2004–05 500000 593362 119 573374 96.6
2005–06 550000 657558 119 633672 97
2006–07 550000 684101 124 669256 98
2007–08 550000 712305 129 673571 95
2008–09 (Aug, 08) 725000 252575 35 248554 98

Note: Achiev – Achivement, IOL – Intra Ocular Lens
Progress in Eye Donation

Year Eye Balls collected No. of Keratoplasty Surgeries
2002–03 3,227 702
2003–04 1,899 606
2004–05 3,074 1,101
2005–06 3,946 1,476
2006–07 3,642 1,279
2007–2008 4,985 1,851
2008–09 (Aug 2008) 1967 697

Progress in School Eye Screening

Year Students Screened Students with refractive errors Free spects provided
2002–03 11,23,980 27,093 6,185
2003–04 22,66,266 53,561 25,919
2004–05 23,25,373 86,837 50,080
2005–06 29,01,620 87,878 57,286
2006–07 31,88,378 1,10,934 81,815
2007–08 36,69,058 1,15,727 87,675
2008–09 (Aug 08) 5,09,418 17,683 2,711

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