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      Epidemiology of Cataract in India: Combating Plans and Strategies

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          Abstract

          Blindness due to cataract presents an enormous problem in India not only in terms of human morbidity but also in terms of economic loss and social burden. The WHO/NPCB (National Programme for Control of Blindness) survey has shown that there is a backlog of over 22 million blind eyes (12 million blind people) in India, and 80.1% of these are blind due to cataract. The annual incidence of cataract blindness is about 3.8 million. The present annual level of performance is in the order of about 1.6–1.9 million cataract operations. To clear the backlog of cataract cases by the year 2000 and to tackle the rising incidence, 5–6 million cataract operations annually will have to be performed as against the present rate of 1.7 million per year. India is undertaking a new long-term initiative to expand the capability of cataract surgery and service levels with financial assistance from the World Bank. An important feature of this initiative is the attention given to spread the cataract blindness programme in rural and tribal areas. The second feature is the emphasis placed on modern extracapsular cataract extraction with intra-ocular lens implantation as the preferred surgical technique. Another noteworthy feature is developing institutional capacity and appropriate co-ordination mechanisms for collaboration between the non-government organization and the public sector to expand coverage to the most disadvantaged populations. The fourth and the most important strategy is to carry out intensive campaigns at the state and national levels against cataract blindness in order to substantially increase the demand for cataract services. A country like India has more significance for such a plan in view of the fact that various social, economic and environmental factors contribute to cataract blindness in populations at a much younger age.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          ORE
          Ophthalmic Res
          10.1159/issn.0030-3747
          Ophthalmic Research
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-6825-8
          978-3-318-00395-6
          0030-3747
          1423-0259
          1999
          April 1999
          11 February 1999
          : 31
          : 2
          : 86-92
          Affiliations
          Departments of aOphthalmology and bPharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
          Article
          55518 Ophthalmic Res 1999;31:86–92
          10.1159/000055518
          9933769
          0735293b-91f8-48ba-ae9d-e5e025d8d1ad
          © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          History
          Page count
          Figures: 1, Tables: 2, References: 15, Pages: 7
          Categories
          Paper

          Vision sciences,Ophthalmology & Optometry,Pathology
          Prevalence,Epidemiology,Intra-ocular lens,Extracapsular cataract extraction,Risk factors,Cataract

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