[AI] Towards better eye care

renuka warriar erenuka at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 00:33:29 EST 2008



Date:24/02/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/02/24/stories/2008022450550200.htm 
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Kerala - 
Kochi 

Towards better eye care 

Staff Reporter 

KOCHI: Poverty, lack of education and environmental factors take their toll on developing countries and manifest in the form of diseases, including those
affecting the eyes. Though India has made progress in medicare, much remains to be done, especially in preventing blindness and providing proper care for
eyes. 

Operation Eyesight Universal, an international non-government organisation based in Canada, is extending help to various hospitals and agencies involved
in eye care programmes. 

Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly, is one of the hospitals selected for aid by the organisation. 

$2 million aid 

The hospital will get $2 million aid from Operation Eyesight Universal, according to Pat Ferguson, president and chief executive of the organisation. 

The funds will be utilised for the construction of a new block for eye care and to upgrade the existing infrastructure at the hospital. The new hospital
block will have 150,000 sq.ft. and it will be completed in two years. 

About nine million people in India were visually impaired. Many cases of blindness can be prevented or treated. Unemployment rates among the blind had been
estimated at 90 per cent and closer to 100 per cent in rural areas. 

Preventable 

About 75 per cent of blindness in the developing world can be prevented with access to treatment, eye health awareness, good sanitation, hygiene and nutrition,
according to Lalitha Raghuram, Country Director - India, Operation Eyesight Universal. 

She said the organisation had been working in India since 1963, with its headquarters in Hyderabad. The organisation had been supporting NGOs that were
active in urban slums of Mumbai and several other cities.



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