A community-based glaucoma screening programme -‘Keep Sight India’ – has been launched on 4th March in Ganjam, Odisha.
The programme which is a joint initiative of the global pharmaceutical company Allergan with the Indian NGO Sightsavers, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) aims to prevent glaucoma-related vision loss in the at-risk population, by ensuring early and accurate diagnosis.
Keep Sight India would train healthcare professionals to screen the high-risk population and help the diagnosed patients by providing appropriate treatment and long-term care.
A trial version of the project was started in October 2019 in partnership with Sankara Eye Hospital, a local partner of Sightsavers.
The first outreach camp was organised on December 3rd, 2019 on World Disability Day and subsequently, four outreach camps were conducted under the pilot project.
The outreach camps included services like vision testing, refraction, IOP measurement, fundus photography, spectacle dispensing, cataract identification, referral services and counselling services.
To date 8276 people have been reportedly screened for glaucoma in these four outreach camps, from which 749 glaucoma suspects were identified and referred to the base hospital.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes progressive irreversible damage of the optic nerve and loss of visual field leading to blindness.
“Nearly 75% of sight loss can be cured or prevented,” said Dr SY Quraishi, Chairman, Sightsavers India Board and former Chief Election Commissioner, India.
“India will play a crucial role in meeting WHO’s targets for eye health”, posits Joanna Conlon, Director of Development and Communications, IAPB.