Press Release-Status of Child Eye Health in India

October 2020

Orbis Launches Report on Status of Child Eye Health in India

The organization also celebrates 20 years of progress fighting avoidable blindness in India and announces a forthcoming virtual Flying Eye Hospital training program

New Delhi, October 8, 2020: Orbis India, in collaboration with Ipsos, launched its ‘Status of Child Eye Health in India: A Comprehensive Report’ on World Sight Day, a program of Vision 2020: Right to Sight-India today. The Report was launched by the Chief Guest at the Vision 2020 program, Dr. G N Rao, Founder and Chairman, LV Prasad Eye Institute.

Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director, Orbis India said, “The report brings to light 8-10 conditions in children, that if diagnosed early can prevent childhood blindness: These conditions are Childhood Cataract, Childhood Glaucoma, Strabismus (Squint), Amblyopia (Lazy Eye), Refractive Errors, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), Retinoblastoma. One in every 1000 children is blind, where in most cases, the blindness was avoidable, if it had been caught early. Also, the report highlights the urban-rural disparity – urban areas would have 1 ophthalmologist for 10,000 people; in rural it is 1 for every 2,50,000 people. The report also talks about the interventions that can improve child eye health in India – the preventive model, eye screening, building awareness, focus on refractive error, expansion of healthcare, vaccination, Vitamin A supplementation, provision of visual aids etc.”

Tripti Sharma, Research Director, Ipsos Public Affairs, India said, “Data in form of facts, numbers, and what works are essential ingredients for driving policies and scaling initiatives. There are very few studies in India to estimate the prevalence of childhood blindness, discuss impact of weal eye care infrastructure of children, or what we have learnt about what has worked as successful models of prevention, care, or promotion. We hope that the information on existing approaches and intervention including recommendations by leading experts, lay out the road map for a comprehensive service model integrated within primary healthcare delivery that prevents avoidable childhood blindness for millions of our children.”

At Ipsos our focus is to present research in form that aids decision making and strengthens development programmes. The report is a comprehensive compilation of different eye health conditions, magnitude, causes and available treatment options. It further provides an overview of programmes across India that are addressing the issue of child eye health care. This report thus aims to serve public health professionals, primary healthcare providers, early childcare providers, policy makers, community and business leaders, community-based organizations, educators, and others interested in improving the health of children in general with special focus on eye care. It lays out the road map for a comprehensive service model integrated within primary healthcare delivery that prevents avoidable childhood blindness for millions of our children.”

The report also includes details of Orbis’s Child Eye Health Model and how it has been successfully implemented with Orbis partners across the country.

This World Sight Day, we proudly celebrate Orbis’s 20 years of work in India, training eye care professionals and working with local partners to fight avoidable blindness. The space of paediatric ophthalmology has transformed ever since we began our journey 20 years back. One of the key objectives of our new report, as Orbis completes 20 years in India, is to showcase this transformation, celebrating our achievements while also taking stock of where we are now and chart the way forward,” said Dr. Rishi Raj Borah, Country Director, Orbis India.

Find the full release here: Orbis Press Release on Status Of Child Eye Health Launch WSD 2020