Incidence of eye complications among schoolchildren high - Health Ministry

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

Around 150,000 adults in Sri Lanka are totally blind and approximately 160,000 schoolchildren have eye problems. A further 450,000 schoolchildren are liable to develop vision complications. The ‘Vision 2020’ of the Health Ministry would therefore launch effective awareness campaigns to educate the public and schoolchildren to prevent eye complications, the Health Ministry said.

Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala told The Island that under the ‘Vision 2020’, around 10,000 people in 2013 had undergone cataract operations with lenses provided free of charge. When people did not get timely medical attention for cataract, it would lead to total blindness in the end, he said.

He pointed out that since January 2014 about 1,000 retired government servants had developed cataract. Arrangements had been made for them to undergo cataract surgery, he added. Many international organisations had funded the ‘Vision 2010’ to provide spectacles and lenses. During the past two years around Rs. 63 million has been provided by them. In 2013, nearly 22,000 schoolchildren were given spectacles.

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