National Programme for Control of Blindness
National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in the year 1976 as a 100% Centrally Sponsored scheme with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3%. As per Survey in 2001-02, prevalence of blindness is estimated to be 1.1%. Rapid Survey on Avoidable Blindness conducted under NPCB during 2006-07 showed reduction in the prevalence of blindness from 1.1% (2001-02) to 1% (2006-07). Various activities/initiatives undertaken during the Five Year Plans under NPCB are targeted towards achieving the goal of reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.3% by the year 2020.
Goals & Objectives of NPCB in the XII Plan
- To reduce the prevalence of blindness (1.49% in 1986-89) to less than 0.3%
- To establish an infrastructure and efficiency levels in the programme to be able to cater new cases of blindness each year to prevent future backlog.
- To reduce the backlog of blindness through identification and treatment of blind at primary, secondary and tertiary levels based on assessment of the overall burden of visual impairment in the country.
- Develop and strengthen the strategy of NPCB for "Eye Health" and prevention of visual impairment; through provision of comprehensive eye care services and quality service delivery.
- Strengthening and up gradation of RIOS to become centre of excellence in various sub-specialties of ophthalmology
- Strengthening the existing and developing additional human resources and infrastructure facilities for providing high quality comprehensive Eye Care in all Districts of the country;
- To enhance community awareness on eye care and lay stress on preventive measures;
- Increase and expand research for prevention of blindness and visual impairment
- To secure participation of Voluntary Organizations/Private Practitioners in eye Care.
Strategies to achieve the objectives
- Decentralized implementation of the scheme through District Health Societies (NPCB)
- Reduction in the backlog of blind persons by active screening of population above 50 years, organising screening eye camps and transporting operable cases to eye care facilities
- Development of eye care services and improvement in quality of eye care by training of personnel, supply of high-tech ophthalmic equipment, strengthening follow up services and regular monitoring of services;
- Screening of school age group (Primary &Secondary) 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 and children;
- To make eye care comprehensive, besides cataract surgery, provision of assistance for other eye diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma Management, Laser Techniques, Corneal Transplantation, Vitreoretinal Surgery, Treatment of Childhood Blindness etc.;
- Construction of dedicated Eye Wards and Eye OTs in District Hospitals in NE States and few other States as per need;
- Development of Mobile Ophthalmic Units [renamed as Multipurpose District Mobile Ophthalmic Units (MDMOU)] in the district level for patient screening & transportation of patients;
- Continuing emphasis on Primary Healthcare (eye care) by establishing Vision centers in all PHCs with a PMOA in position.
- Participation of community and Panchayat Raj institutions in organizing services in rural areas;
- Involvement of Private Practitioners in the programme.
Main causes of blindness
- Cataract (62.6%)
- Refractive Error (19.70%)
- Corneal Blindness (0.90%)
- Glaucoma (5.80%)
- Surgical Complication (1.20%)
- Posterior Capsular Opacification (0.90%)
- Posterior Segment Disorder (4.70%)
- Others (4.19%)
- Estimated National Prevalence of Childhood Blindness /Low Vision is 0.80 per thousand.
Source: National Health Portal
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