"One of the basic human rights is the Right to See. We have to ensure that no citizen goes blind needlessly, or being blind, does not remain so, if, by reasonable deployment of skills and resources, his sight can be prevented from deterioration, or if already lost, can be restored."
Objectives of DBCS :
Implementation of National Programme of Control of Blindness takes place through the Distt. Blindness Control Society. The man objective of DBCS Patiala is to achieve maximum reduction in avoidable blindness in the distt. through optimal utilization of available resources with in the distt. and
To provide high quality of eye care to the affected population;
To expand coverage of eye care services to the underserved areas;
To reduce the backlog of blindness by identifying and providing services to the affected population; and
To develop institutional capacity for eye care services by providing support for equipment and material and training personnel.
Definition of Blindness
Simple Definition :Inability of a person to count fingers from a distance of 6 meters or 20 feet.
Technical Definition :
Blindness                                        Low Vision
Presenting Visual Acuity                  Presenting Visual Acuity
Less than 6/60 in the better eye    better than 6/60 but less than 6/18 in the
Some facts about Blindness
Increase in prevalence after 50 years
Prevalence higher in females
Prevalence higher in poor and illiterate
High prevalence in underserved rural and tribal areas
Farmers and labourers are at higher risk
Major Causes of Blindness
1. Cataract                               62%
2. Refractive errors                   20%
3. Glaucoma                               6%
4. Corneal Opacity                     1%
5. Surgerical Complication          1%
6. Others                                  10%
Composition of District Blindness Control Society
Chairman || Deputy Commissioner Patiala|
|Vice-Chairman|| Civil Surgeon Patiala|
|Advisor || Dr. R.N. Bhatnagar (Head of Eye Deptt. Med. Coll.)|
|Member Secretary || Dr. Anil Pathak (Eye Specialist Rajindra Hospital) |
In addition there are 9 to 10 representatives of NGO's, Private Sector, Media and other Govt. Institutions.
Function of District Blindness Control Society
Planning : Preparations of District Micro-plan based on magnitude sand distribution of blind persons and resources available for eye care;
Implementation of programme through utilization of government facilities, involvement of NGOs and community participation ;
Monitoring of programme activities and quality control;
Financial and material management ;
Social mobilization and public awareness ;
Orientation of various functionaries of health and other sectors, formal and non-formal leaders.
Procurement of good quality refraction sets, Drugs, consumables, cataract sets, etc. and Maintenance of Equipment.
Arrangement for screening camps, IOL, spectacles, furniture, generator sets, etc.
Monitoring and Financial Assistance to Eye Banks and Eye Donation Centres.
Main Activities of DBCS Patiala
a) Cataract Blindness : DBCS Patiala take the following steps to control Cataract Blindness by :
Identifying the blind and list them in village registers
- Organize screening camps for confirming the cataract blind for referral
- Transport the cataract blind to the base hospital/camp
- Free Surgery at base hospital/camp
- Follow-up of operated cases, carrying out refraction and providing best corrective spectacles.
DBCS Provide Grant-in-aid for free cataract operations by Voluntary organization / PRI etc. in camps/ fixed facilities from Rs. 200/- to
Rs. 750/- as per the guidelines of Govt. of India.
More than 10000 cataracts operations are done every year in Patiala.
b) School Eye Screening Programme
5 to 7% of children aged 10-14 in Patiala Distt. have problems with their eye sight affecting their participation and learning at school. This can be easily corrected by a pair of spectacles.
District Blindness Control Society Patiala on annual basis
Screen all children in the age group of 10 to 14 years for refractive errors (difficulty in clearly seeing distant or near objects);
- Train teachers, preferably with science background, females and those wearing spectacles, identifying children with eye problems;
- Refer children with suspected refractive errors, to the Ophthalmic Assistant at the PHC for refraction ;
- Prescription of spectacles ;
- Provide children from poor families with free glasses ;
48000 to 50000 school children are screened every year and more than 1000 free spectacles are distributed to poor and needy students.
c) Training to Link Workers
DBCS Patiala trains health workers and one link worker in a village for mobilizing and ensuring :
- Preparation of village-wise blind registry through local bodies like Panchayats, Mahila Mandals and community groups, Health workers, teachers, anganwadi workers, youth clubs, volunteers etc.;
- Motivation and transportation of cases through grass root NGOs, peripheral health staff, link workers and village community;
- Training in interpersonal communication through village level link workers, satisfied patients and grief counsellors in hospitals;
- Public awareness through various media channels.
d) Eye donation and Corneal Blindness
- DBCS Patiala Organizes Eye donation fortnight from 25th August to 8th September every year to promote eye donation/ eye banking.
- Corneal blindness mainly occurs among children and young adults;
- Estimated 40 thousand new cases occur every year ;
- Common causes include Vitamin-A deficiency, eye infections and injuries;
- Only treatment available is corneal transplantation;