Volume 4 Issue 7 - April 01, 2006

24 million Indians with low-vision treatment left out of Government’s health policy

D.N.I.S. News Network- India is home to an estimated 13 million blind people and according to recent indicators this isnt getting any better as 24 million people in India require low-vision treatment and hence are bordering on acute to total vision loss.

The situation is not likely to improve with the issue not even figuring on the radar of the governments most basic health scheme under central and state government, meant for its serving and retired employees. 

For instance, while the government provides reimbursement of up to Rs. 60,000 to hearing impaired people, there is no provision for those having eye and vision related problems.  

All developed countries have eliminated preventable blindness. But in India, government and eye care professionals need to address the issue with more seriousness before India is labelled as a country with excessive untreated blind population, Dr. Ajeet Bhardwaj, Governing Board Member of the World Council of Optometry and the President of Asia Pacific Optometry Council, was quoted as saying in a news daily.  

World Health Organisation standards stipulate that a person with visual acuity less than 6/18 or a visual field of less than 10 degree suffers from low vision. According to the 2001 Census figures, people with vision impairment constitute 48.5 per cent of total disabled population.

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