Devise multi-pronged strategy for strengthening preventive eye care: VP Naidu
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday called for a 'multi-pronged' strategy in strengthening eye care facility particularly in rural areas were the presence of ophthalmologists and optometrists were relatively low.
Naidu, after virtually inaugurating the Anant Bajaj Retina Institute in Hyderabad from Raj Bhavan, Udhagamandalam, said the government must equip and integrate primary health centres in all villages with primary eye care facilities.
''Given the relative ease with which basic eye tests can be administered, our community health workers -- ASHA workers -- should be trained in initial screening for eye diseases and patients can be referred to secondary or tertiary care centres,'' he said.
Noting that the awareness about preventive eye care, particularly a specialised field like retinal health was low among people, he said the need of the hour was to increase awareness among people about the importance of eye health.
''Multimedia campaigns in local languages should be utilised involving celebrities and icons from different fields. The message should go to people that vision impairment is preventable and curable too,'' he said.
The Vice President said there was an urgent need to devise a multi-pronged strategy for strengthening preventive and curative eye care across the country.
''Particularly in rural areas where the access to ophthalmologists and optometrists is relatively low, there is a huge scope to curtail preventable blindness,'' he said.
Complementing the government efforts, private health care providers must open satellite centres in villages and company's should allocate CSR (corporate social responsibility) funds towards setting up eye care and screening camps in villages, he said.
''Community awareness is critical in rural settings and awareness programmes must be organised at a community level, periodically,'' he said.
Naidu also stressed the need to regulate the use of gadgets among children, who ''run a higher risk of technology addiction.'' ''We must rest our eyes sufficiently and take a healthy diet,'' he said.
L V Prasad Eye Institute founder G N Rao, Bajaj Electricals Ltd Chairman and Managing Director, Shekar Bajaj, senior officials of L V Prasad Eye Institute, Anant Bajaj Retina Institute were among those who were present on the occasion.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)