Vision 2020 Programme making impact in Nepal

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Nepalgunj: Access of all in eye treatment services has been found increasing with the implementation of the Vision 2020 Programme in the country. The programme has been run with the goal of prevention of blindness in Nepal. 

The Vision 2020 programme with the slogan of Right to Vision was initiated by the United Nations in February 1999. The goal of the programme is to prevent blindness in around 50 million people around the world. 

Nepal had endorsed the programme in November the same year and implemented it through the Ministry of Health and Population. Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Tilaganga Eye Centre and various governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the eye care and treatment services are supporting the Ministry in implementing this programme. 

The Vision 2020 Programme incorporates treatment of cataract, glaucoma and trachoma, reduction of blindness in children, test of spectacles, various services for treatment of low vision, eye care services for any condition resulting from diabetes and public awareness campaigns promoting eye care and eye health, the district president of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh, Ratan Kumar Tandon, said. 

Nepal Blindness Survey conducted in 1981 revealed that 0.84% of the Nepali population is blind and 1.7 % has unilateral blindness. Besides, 90% of the blinds reside in rural areas therefore blindness is really a serious public health issue imposing a social as well as economic burden to our country. 

The survey also showed that 72 per cent of the people with eye problem suffer from cataract. Among all the blindness, 80% are avoidable which means it is either preventable or curable. 

The latest survey on the status of blindness shows that the problem has decreased by half with the coming into operation of eye hospitals in various places of the country. Eye problem is seen in 0.39 per cent of the population in Nepal at present.
 
Tandon said that people in the western region of the country are found suffering more from eye problems as compared to the other regions. RSS