Medical &Health

Blindness rate in Bangladesh falls 35% in 20 years: Health Minister

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday said blindness had been reduced by 35% in the country over the past 20 years.

The minister said this as a chief guest at the inaugural function of the workshop titled ‘Dissemination Seminar on Nationwide Blindness Survey 2020 Report,’ organized by National Eye Care at a hotel in the capital on Thursday.

Establishment of community vision centres in every upazila, improvement in quality of services in district hospitals and medical colleges, eye camps, free cataract surgery and eye treatment, sight testing and various other steps have led to the decrease in blindness, the minister said.

Blindness is a serious health as well as social problem in Bangladesh, he said.

The minister further said a previous survey was conducted in 1999, which showed the prevalence of blindness over the age of 30 was 1.53%, with a total of 7,50,000 blindness cases.

The government launched the Programme ‘Strategy for National Eye Care for vision 2020 in Bangladesh’ in 2007 to reduce blindness to 0.77% by 2020.

Eye care service has progressed considerably over the past 20 years and it is positive news that the current blindness rate in the country is 1%, the minister said.

He advised the concerned authorities, especially National Eye Care to keep focus on eye services for delivering the services to the doorsteps of the people.

Director of National Eye Science Institute & Hospital, Professor Dr Golam Mostofa presided over the seminar.

Senior Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Mia and Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) ABM Khurshid Alam were present on the occasion.

Source: United News of Bangladesh