One-fifth of world's blind live in India: WHO

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New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Of the total 3.7 crore blind people in the world, 67 lakh are in India, according to the World Health Organisation.

There are 500 eye banks and eye donation centres in the country, including 148 in Maharashtra, according to Hyderabad-based Eye Bank Association of India. Around 30,000 donated eyes are collected annually in the country.

Official sources said as per a survey conducted during 2006-07, blindness in the country has come down to 1 per cent from 1.1 per cent in 2001-02. But National Programme for Control of Blindness has targeted to reduce avoidable blindness to 0.3 per cent by 2020.

India has 6,000 optometrists and about 1,200 students pass out every year but many more are needed to attend the patients requiring eye care, as the ophthalmologists is to para medical personnel ratio should be 1:4, the sources added.

UNI

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