Year: 2017 | Month: March | Volume: 7 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 308-315
Rapid Report on Eye Care Service Use to Prevent Visual Impairment and Blindness in Rajasthan and Major Surrounding Indian States, 2012 to 2016
Dr. Gregory Fant
Visiting Professor, Public Health (Epidemiology), Jodhpur School of Public Health, Rajasthan, INDIA
Background: Poor eye health is prevalent in rural parts of India and in other parts of the developing world.
Objectives: The purpose of this report is to describe the use of eye care services--such as cataract surgery, dispensing spectacles to school-aged children, and the treatment of other eye conditions (glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy)--that prevent visual impairment and blindness among the population in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab between 2012 to 2016.
Methods: Using data from the National Programme for the Control of Blindness, India, descriptive charts for the states were constructed for the number of services utilized in each category. Demographic and key program variables were examined for the states in 2016 using a correlation matrix.
Results: Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana each had a low percentage of urban population and this may have impacted the use of eye care services in these states. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh had high levels of achievement, over a 4-year period, for both cataract operations and distributing free glasses to school children.
Conclusion: “Eye camps” for low socioeconomic population areas (emphasis on women and children) could be organized by public health, optometric, ophthalmic leaders in Rajasthan and the surrounding states to conduct vision screening, provide refraction services, distribute spectacles, provide community health education and medical referral. This report showed that Rajasthan and the surrounding states made progress in the delivery of cataract operations, distribution of glasses to children, and the provision of some additional eye care services.
Key words: Visual impairments, eye care services, ecological study, Rajasthan