09 April 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Trusts, Govt And Private Hospitals Help The District Go Beyond The Target Yet Again
Cataract operations in Pune district have once again exceeded expectations. The district registered 99,109 (102%) surgeries under the National Programme For Control of Blindness as against the target of 97,000 between April 2009 and March 2010. It has been surpassing the target since 2001, an official said.
The outstanding performance was attributed to the initiative taken by the Pune chapter of the District Blindness Control Society (DBCS). It roped in private hospitals and charitable trusts that performed the surgeries.
“This year, 99, 109 cataract operations, involving government, charitable and private hospitals, was carried out by the District Blindness Control Society (DBCS). The contribution of its Pune chapter has increased over the years,” said district ophthalmic surgeon Ashok Mahadik.
“When compared to the other districts, the Pune chapter of DBCS has been surpassing the annual target for cataract operations set by the State Blindness Control Society (SBCS) since 2001. This year, the percentage is 102,” said Mahadik.
As many as 90 camps are organised every month for cataract operations. “We got private hospitals and charitable trusts registered with us as a non–government organisation (NGO). This has boosted the annual performance of Pune chapter of DBCS,” said Mahadik.
The contribution of H V Desai eye hospital, K K eye hospital (Inlaks and Budhrani) and Mohan Thuse eye hospital in Narayangaon stand out, Mahadik added.
The NPCB gave Rs 1 .64 crore as financial grant for the surgeries to the Pune chapter. “It is the highest in the state,” said Mahadik.
After the cataract surgery programme was launched, the rate of blindness came down to 62 per hundred blind people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) began assisting the Cataract Blindness Control Project (CBCP) initiated by NPCB in 1994. “WHO strengthened the project by focusing on intraocular lens surgery. It provided equipment, trained people and supplied medicines for the surgery,” said Mahadik.
According to the World Health Organisation cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye which stops the passage of light. Most cases of cataract are related to ageing, but children can be born with the condition, or a cataract may develop after eye injuries, inflammation, and some other eye diseases.
Age–related cataract is responsible for 48% of blindness, which is about 18 million people. Cataracts can be surgically removed, but services are inadequate in many countries.
The donated corneas are used for optical, therapeutic and research purposes. The quality of corneas depend on the number of endothelial cells in it. The cornea that has a larger number of such cells are used for giving vision to the blind. Corneas with a few cells are used for therapeutic purposes like treating nonhealing ulcers of the eye. One with considerably less cells is used for research.