- The National Blindness & Visual Impairment Survey India 2015-2019, released last week, looks at district-wise prevalence of blindness and visual impairment. The survey randomly identified 31 districts with a sample size of about 93,000, among whom 18,000 were less than 50 years of age.
- Among those aged 50 and above, the focus of the study, prevalence of blindness is lowest in Thrissur district of Kerala (1.08%) while that of visual impairment is lowest in Thoubal in Manipur (7.3%). Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh has the highest prevalence in both categories, at 3.67% and 21.82% , respectively.
- In low prevalence of blindness, Thrissur is followed by North Goa, Khera (Punjab) and Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu).
- The report found that the prevalence of blindness is highest among those who are at least 80 years old (11.6%). Untreated cataract is the main cause of blindness, at 66.2%. and also the foremost cause of severe visual impairment, at 80.7% of all cases.
- Corneal opacity, cataract surgical complications and some posterior segment disorders are some of the other causes of blindness. As per the survey, prevalence of blindness has reduced by 47.1% compared to the baseline levels of 2010.
- The survey, planned by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was released by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. The Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi, planned and executed the field work, analysis and report writing.