National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in the year 1976 as a 100% Centrally Sponsored scheme with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3%. As per Survey in 2001-02, prevalence of blindness is estimated to be 1.1%. Rapid Survey on Avoidable Blindness conducted under NPCB during 2006-07 showed reduction in the prevalence of blindness from 1.1% (2001-02) to 1% (2006-07). Various activities/initiatives undertaken during the Five Year Plans under NPCB are targeted towards achieving the goal of reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.3% by the year 2020.
Main causes of blindness are as follows: - Cataract (62.6%) Refractive Error (19.70%) Corneal Blindness (0.90%), Glaucoma (5.80%), Surgical Complication (1.20%) Posterior Capsular Opacification (0.90%) Posterior Segment Disorder (4.70%), Others (4.19%) Estimated National Prevalence of Childhood Blindness /Low Vision is 0.80 per thousand
Goals & Objectives of NPCB in the XII Plan
· To reduce the backlog of blindness through identification and treatment of blind at primary, secondary and tertiary levels based on assessment of the overall burden of visual impairment in the country.
· Develop and strengthen the strategy of NPCB for “Eye Health” and prevention of visual impairment; through provision of comprehensive eye care services and quality service delivery.
· Strengthening and upgradation of RIOs to become centre of excellence in various sub-specialities of ophthalmology
· Strengthening the existing and developing additional human resources and infrastructure facilities for providing high quality comprehensive Eye Care in all Districts of the country;
· To enhance community awareness on eye care and lay stress on preventive measures;
· Increase and expand research for prevention of blindness and visual impairment
· To secure participation of Voluntary Organizations/Private Practitioners in eye Care