Tuesday October 15, 2019

India Pulls off Target of Undergoing 25 per cent Reduction in Visual Impairment

The latest National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey 2015-2019 reveals that India Achieves Reduction in Visual Impairment

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Visual Impairment
Over the years, the prevalence of Visual Impairment among over the 50-year-olds has reduced considerably. Pixabay

 India has successfully achieved the target of 25 per cent reduction in visual impairment, the latest National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey 2015-2019 has revealed.

The WHO Global Action Plan for Universal Eye Health 2014-2019 targeted a reduction in the prevalence of visual impairment by 25 per cent by 2019 from the baseline level of 2010.

The current survey shows a reduction of 47.1 per cent in blindness, 52.6 per cent in moderate severe visual impairment (MSVI) and 51.9 per cent in visual impairment (VI) compared to the baseline levels. This is way above the estimates that WHO had set in 2010 and shows that India has successfully achieved the target of 25 per cent reduction in visual impairment

The survey was conducted in order to provide the evidence about the present status of blindness and visual impairment in India. It was planned by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Delhi’s Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences at AIIMS was responsible for planning and executing the field work, monitoring, analysis and report writing of the survey. The survey was conducted in partnership with various reputed eye health institutes of the country.

Visual Impairment
The WHO Global Action Plan for Universal Eye Health 2014-2019 targeted a reduction in the prevalence of visual impairment . Pixabay

The estimated prevalence in overall population of blind was 0.36 per cent, severe visual impairment was 0.35 per cent, MSVI was 1.84 per cent, early visual impairment was 2.92 per cent. Estimated moderate severe visual impairment in overall population was 2.19 per cent and that of visual impairment was 2.55 per cent. Estimated prevalence of pinhole blindness in overall population of India was 0.32 per cent.

Over the years, the prevalence of blindness among over the 50-year-olds has reduced considerably. Blindness, has reduced from 5.3 per cent in 2001 to 3.60 per cent in 2007 to 1.99 per cent in current survey. Visual impairment has reduced from 32.3 per cent in 2001 to 24.8 per cent in 2007 to 13.73 per cent in current survey in population above 50 years.

Cataract, however, continues to be the major cause of blindness and is responsible for 66.2 per cent of blindness, says the survey. Refractive error was the most important cause of visual impairment and second important cause of blindness in 2001, but the current survey showed that refractive error is not an important cause of blindness now. Corneal blindness emerged as the second important cause of blindness. Beside this, the proportion of blindness due to complications of cataract surgery have also increased.

According to the survey, the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment was lowest in Thrissur district (Kerala) and in Thoubal district (Manipur) respectively. Bijnor district (Uttar Pradesh) had the highest prevalence of both blindness and visual impairment.

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Blindness was more prevalent in the rural areas. Pixabay

The maximum prevalence of blindness was seen in 80+ age group (11.6 per cent), followed by 70-79 age group (4.1 per cent), 60-69 age group (1.6 per cent) and 50-59 age group (0.5 per cent).

Blindness was higher among the illiterate (3.23 per cent) compared to literate population. It was only 0.43 per cent among 10th pass and above.

Blindness was more prevalent in the rural population as compared to urban population at 2.14 per cent versus 1.80 per cent, said the survey.

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The survey in the population aged 0-49 years showed that the prevalence of visual impairment was 4.43 per thousand and blindness was 0.52 per thousand in the 0-49 year age group. (IANS)

Next Story

5G Carries Potential to Contribute to India’s GDP Growth by the Year 2025

AR, VR and AI will all come together to form ‘extended reality', it added

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5G, huawei
"5G is the promise of a better quality of life for all and exceptional opportunities. It will allow to adapt life to our needs," he said. VOA

A KPMG report on Monday said that 5G technology has the potential to add 0.35-0.5 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.

The report further said that India Inc has the potential to unlock $48.69 billion (Rs 3,408 billion) in four years through the deployment of 5G.

The government has set a target of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2024-25. In 2018-19, the Indian economy stood at $2.72 trillion.

“We estimate that the 5G contribution to annual GDP will likely be in the range of 0.35-0.5 per cent by 2025. The absolute value unlocked is expected to be highest in the retail sector, followed by finance and then the technology sector,” said the report released at the India Mobile Congress 2019.

It further said that IT will be the “most immersive, intelligent and inventive of all technologies”.

Intel
Top Intel Executive said that India needs to roll out 5G faster in order to take advantage of the economic benefits it can bring to the nation. Pixabay

“Blockchain is a technology trend that has seen wide implementation during 2019 and its applications will continue to expand beyond cryptocurrency, it said.

The survey ranked artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), cognitive computing and machine learning as the top technologies that will have the highest potential to generate immersive experiences, but noted that they are nascent in terms of their evolution and adoption.

AR, VR and AI will all come together to form ‘extended reality’, it added.

Also Read: Users Clueless on Snapchat’s Global Outage

Commenting on the report, Purushothaman K.G., Partner and Sector Lead for telecom at KPMG in India, said: “The future value that will be delivered through telecom operators is not by being the provider of ‘connectivity’ but as being a trusted partner and platform provider offering value and services and experiences to customers.

“We are living in exciting times where new technologies like 5G, IoT, AI and AR/VR promise to revolutionise connectivity and unlock value by creating better, more secure and personalised experiences for everyone.” (IANS)