Related Topics: Reports & Surveys, Public Health
According to the National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey of India (2015-19), cataract is the principal cause of blindness for people above 50 years in India.
About the Survey
- The survey was conducted by Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Opthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The survey was conducted in 31 districts of 24 states and the results were extrapolated for the entire country.
Key Highlights of the Survey
- Cataract is the cause for 66.2% cases of blindness, 80.7% cases of severe visual impairment, and 70.2% cases of moderate visual impairment in the age group.
- Blindness is more pronounced among illiterate (3.23%) than literates (0.43%) and more prevalent in the rural population (2.14%) than urban (1.80%).
- Approximately 93% of cases of blindness and 96.2% visual impairment cases in this age group (people above 50 years) were avoidable and of all the avoidable causes, more than half were treatable.
- Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh has the highest population suffering from blindness (3.67 per cent) and visual impairment (21.82 per cent).
- The coverage of cataract surgery among blinds was 93.2 per cent in men and 91.9 per cent in women aged above 50.
- Around 40 per cent of cataract surgeries were performed in government facilities, while the rest took place in private or non-profit facilities.
- Cost was the biggest barrier in accessing a cataract surgery. It was the reason for 22.1 per cent blindness cases and lack of awareness was behind 18.4 per cent cases, who did not feel any need of the surgery.
[Source: The Hindu, Down to Earth]