No IPR (PR) 3/2009                                                     Dated Naharlagun August 12, 2009


Governor offers invitation to Eye Surgeons

Itanagar, August 11:  “Development in the field of medical science is immaterial unless medical service reaches common masses, tribes and people living in far flung areas”, said Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen JJ Singh, while gracing the Dr. M.C. Nahata Rastriya Netr Suraksha Puraskar award function as Chief Guest in Indore, Madhya Pradesh on 9th August last. As of now also, large tribal population still has no access to advance treatment in the field of medical science, he added, reports PRO to Governor.

            Suggesting for a new look, approach and direction is necessary to provide Eye Care Services to our People which should be realistic, the Governor pointed, several programmes have been launched by private as well as public sector and International Organization like World Bank, World Health Organization Lions and Rotary International including national programme for the Prevention and control of Blindness and visual Impairment since 1976 but the effort has not been able to show perceptible difference. The prevalence ratio has remained at 1.38-1.49 which is a matter of utmost concern. The thrust should be on identifying the common causes of blindness & measures required, he stressed. This endeavor is not only necessary but has become mandatory since not only the society but the economy of the country gets affected because of large number of blind and visually impaired population, Gen Singh said.

Pointing that, of the 11000 Eye Surgeons in the country 75% are in the urban segment and only 25% or in the rural resulting into availability of services of one Eye Surgeon for 2.5 lakh rural areas, Gen Singh emphasized on actively associated with this work with Panchayati Raj Institution. The country also needs improvement in services which can be achieved through training of personnel, providing with better modern equipment, strengthening of follow up services and their regular monitoring, he added.

Giving an overview on blindness in Arunachal Pradesh, the Governor informed that there are twenty-six thousand people suffering from blindness, which stands at 2.28% prevalence ratio, where as the national ratio stands at approximate 1.5%. Efforts are there by the State Health and Family Welfare department to reduce the prevalence of blindness through regular eye camps in rural areas, regular screening of school children and imparting trainings to teachers on eye care, free distribution of spectacles and involving NGOs focusing on childhood blindness.
Stating that lack of accessibility, transportation problem, illiteracy and mostly due to lack of awareness on eye care as causes of high prevalence, Gen Singh urged upon the eye surgeons, who have come from every corner of the country to attend the function to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

Gen Singh offered, if any of these constellations of luminaries of eye surgeons comes to Arunachal Pradesh with social service to local tribal in their mind, Raj Bhavan will treat them as State guest.

As always taking Arunachal Pradesh, especially tourism factor to every forum, the Governor extended an open invitation to surgeons to visit the State. He said with its world renowned 400 years old Tawang Monastery to Parashuram Kund and Lord Krishna and Rukminis own Malinithan, we have it all, which will make the visit memorable. With its pristine environment, it has touches of Switzerland in Sela Pass, near Tawang to Amazon like dense forest in Siang valley along with its five hundred odd orchids. It has twenty-six different major tribes and hundred odd sub tribes with district customs and traditions, its makes a mini India with its cultural mosaic. The exotic cuisines and exquisite attires, you will never find in any place in the world, he said.

The annual event was organized by the National Society for Prevention of Blindness, Indore branch, where Dr. M. Srinivasan, Arvind Eye Hospital, Madhurai was felicitated with Dr. M.C. Nahata Rastriya Netr Suraksha Puraskar for his phenomenal work in prevention of blindness. It is an initiative of the Indore Branch, led by Dr. M.C. Nahata, where Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, Para ophthalmic, Personnel, Social workers, Corporate Houses and others, working through National Society for Prevention of Blindness in different parts of the country gathers every year to felicitate best of the contributor toward eradication of blindness.


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