National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in the year 1976 as a 100% Centrally Sponsored scheme with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3%. As per Survey in 2001-02, prevalence of blindness is estimated to be 1.1%.
In Goa the National Programme for Control of Blindness was started in the year 1981 keeping in view the main objective to reduce blindness incidence from 1.10% to 0.30% by year 2020, this programme is now incorporated in to the Primary Care component of the health subject along with other programmes.
In Goa Prevalence of Blindness is taken as per National Standard as no survey is done.
The Directorate of Health Services implements the National Programme for Control of Blindness to render Ophthalmic Service at three levels.
1. Primary Level it renders services through the Primary Health Centre and Community Health Centres along with its peripheral network.
2. Secondary Level through the referral units mainly the District Hospitals, Asilo Hospital, Mapusa & Hospicio Hospital, Margao.
3. Tertiary Level through Goa Medical College Hospital, Bambolim.
Goal – Reduction in the prevalence of blindness.
1. To reduce the backlog of blindness by identifying and providing level appropriate eye care services.
2. To develop comprehensive eye care facilities in every district.
3. To expand coverage of eye care services to the under deserved areas.
4. To provide high quality eye care services to the affected population.
5. To develop institutional and health personnel capacity by providing support for equipment, material and training.
6. To enhance community awareness on eye care.
Functions and duties carried out by the Department:
1. Organize Cataract screening camps for detection of cataract.
2. Free Cataract Surgeries/ treatment at G.M.C and District hospitals.
3. School eye screening activities
4. Surveillance and distribution of free spectacles
5. Advocacy/ Co-ordination and IEC activities
Magnitude and Prevalence of Blindness:
1. Of an estimated 450 lakh blind persons (Visual Acuity <3/60) in the world, 70 lakh are in India.
1. An estimated 20 lakh are new cases of cataract per year.
Five steps to control Blindness:
1. Identify the blind and list them in village blind registers.
2. Organize screening camps for detection of cataract, Refractive Errors, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy and Referral.
3. Transport the patient for base hospital for further management.
4. Free treatment / surgery at base hospital.
5. Follow-up of cases.