New Delhi,16th Oct: Highlighting the importance of curbing down the burden of vision impairment in India, All India Ophthalmology Society (AIOS) organised live interactive webinar. The session was aimed at discussing the ways to pull down the incidences and prevalence of visual impairment. While NPCB has revised the new targets of improving the burden of visual improvement from the present target of 0.3% to 0.25% by 2025, a unified effort from various stakeholders is the key to its implementation.

Various organisations associated with the eye health care, including the ministry of Health and family welfare, Vision 2020, Sightsavers, ORBIS International were prominently present among many others. Various ophthalmologists from throughout the country presented their work in the respective areas pertaining to the field of blindness and visual impairment. AIOS has also organised an Ophthalmic Photography Competition on and the results of the competition will be announced shortly.

“Looking at such high numbers, eye care needs to be made an integral part of Universal health coverage and implement integrated people centric eye care approach in the healthcare system. Though the other visual impairments saw a downward trend, among the geriatric population, Cataract still remains the leading cause of blindness with 66.2% and causing visual impairment in 71% of the total cases. There is a dire need to build a strategic pathway to make India backlog free in terms of cataract blindness in a phased manner by 2025.” Said Prof. (Dr) Mahipal Singh Sachdev, President AIOS & Chairman, Centre For Sight Group of Hospitals.

“While various issues and challenges remain to be a hindrance in eradicating the backlog of visual impairment and blindness from the country, a unified approach is required to tackle the burden all together. If devoid of timely action and no additional resources are mobilized urgently to deal with this criticality, it is also estimated that these figures will double by 2025. Advanced technology like Laser techniques are minimally invasive and automated that provides greater precision and accuracy with better outcomes and quick recovery in the treatment of cataract.” Said Dr Namrata Sharma, Hony, General Secretary, AIOS & Prof Opth RP Centre.