National Programme for Control of Blindness
National Programme for Control of Blindness & Visual Impairment (NPCBVI) was launched in the year 1976 by the Government of India with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3%.
Main objectives of the programme are:
- To reduce the backlog of avoidable blindness through identification and treatment of curable blind at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, based on assessment of the overall burden of visual impairment in the country.
- Develop and strengthen the strategy of NPCB for “Eye Health for All” and prevention of visual impairment; through provision of comprehensive universal eye-care services and quality service delivery.
- Strengthening and up-gradation of Regional Institutes of Ophthalmology to become centre of excellence in various sub-specialities of ophthalmology and also other partners like Medical College, District Hospitals, Sub-district Hospitals, Vision Centres, NGO Eye Hospitals.
- Strengthening the existing infrastructure facilities and developing additional human resources for providing high quality comprehensive Eye Care in all Districts of the country.
- To enhance community awareness on eye care and lay stress on preventive measures.
- Increase and expand research for prevention of blindness and visual impairment.
- To secure participation of Voluntary Organizations/Private Practitioners in delivering eye Car.
National Programme for Control of Blindness is implemented through the State. In the state of Rajasthan, Department of Medical & Health implements this programme.
Cataract is the dominant cause of blindness as it accounts for nearly two third of blind population. There are many organisations working for treatment of cataract. However, though Corneal Blindness is next important cause of blindness but there are very limited number of organisations working effectively in the field of eradication and treatment of corneal blindness. There are more than 740 institutional members (Eye Banks and Eye Donation Centres) under the aegis of the Eye Banks Association of India. Out of these, 15 eye banks i.e. 2% of 740 organisations contribute more than 50% of total collection.