Among the many gifts that we treasure in our life, the gift of eyesight is very precious. It holds the key to many of wonders, this world has to offer. Nothing is more enlightening and informative as the power of vision. However, this great gift can be such an unbelievable loss to individuals who lack this privilege. There are some fascinating facts that can really stun us. According to a World Health Organization report there are an estimated 285 million people who are visually impaired worldwide. A clearer statistics indicates that there are about 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision.
The biggest tragedy is that about 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. Further, it is the old who suffer the most; it is said that 82% of people living with blindness are aged 50 and above. The most important reason for such a tragedy is the uncorrected refractive errors in moderate and severe visual impairment. However, cataract is the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries. A global estimated indicates that number of people impaired from infectious disease has reduced in the last 20 year. Further, the most hopeful scenario even in such a despairing situation is that 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured.
When considering the scenario in India we understand that the need for Eye Hospitals have risen categorically in India. There are about 1.5 crore blind people in India. Approximately, 35 lakh people are corneally blind and are in need of a corneal transplant. As against an annual requirement of more than 75,000 to 1,00,000 corneas, only 37,103 corneas are donated in India at present. Unfortunately Cataract is the biggest cause of blindness in the world; it is estimated to be more than 60%. Therefore, a significant importance has been laid upon Cataract surgery in India. The annual number of cataract surgeries in India had increased from 1.2 million in 1990 to 4.8 million in 2006. Further, as per a survey almost 82% of the Indians between the ages of 75 to 83 years suffer from cataract.
Therefore, there is an increasing need to improve health eye care facilities in India. Only a drastic revolution in our healthcare can enable our heath care industry to meet the present need.