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‘Blindness rate in country drops by 35pc in 20 yrs’

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 10 December, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The rate of blindness in the country has declined by 35 per cent in the last 20 years, a survey has revealed.

The number of blindness cases has decreased to 534,000 in the country, said the survey which conducted by the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) in 2020.

The previous survey was conducted in 1999 to find out the rate of blindness in the country. The survey found prevalence of blindness from cataract to be 1.53 percent with a total of 650,000 blindness cases.

However, the population of the country has increased by 45 percent during this period while the average life expectancy also has increased.

The report of the survey of the CIPRB was disclosed at a dissemination seminar at a city hotel on Thursday.

Health and Family Welfare minister Zahid Maleque, Health Services Division Senior Secretary Md. Lokman Hossain Miah and Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam were present at the programme.

The programme was presided over by Professor Golam Mostafa, president of the National Eye Care.

The survey titled "Nationwide Blindness Survey 2020" was conducted with technical and financial support from the National Eye Care.  As part of the survey, data was collected between November 2020 and January 2021 from 18,810 participants from both urban and rural areas of all 64 districts. It said although the rate of blindness has fallen, 19 percent of the population aged 30 and above still suffers from different types of visual impairment.

The government launched the National Eye Care Programme in 2005 to reduce blindness by 50 percent in line with global goals for 2020.

The survey report recommended ensuring eye health services through setting up community vision centres in every upazila health complex across the country.