Govt committed to a cataract-free city: Sheila

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New Delhi, Dec 13 (UNI) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said her Government was fully committed to make Delhi a cataract-free city and taken all the steps needed for the purpose.

Launching the 9th Phase of the 'Motiabind Mukti Abhiyan'(Campaign for freedom from Cataract), Ms Dikshit said over the past decade, about 24,000 patients with cataract have been operated free of cost under the aegis of this programme.

Informing that the Delhi Government has targeted operation of 4000 patients and check up of 40,000 people during the latest phase of the campaign, to be carried out over two days at 500 Centres in various parts of Delhi, the Chief Minister said the campaign has been successful in helping build up the infrastructure required to go ahead with the successful implementation of this programme.

This build up has been two pronged, namely, the training of the in-house non-ophthalmologists for cataract screening, such that they are able to refer a needy patient for cataract surgery if deemed necessary, and also making the patient aware that such a facility for cataract screening and surgery is being made available by the Government.

The Chief Minister further said community work is the scaffolding on which maximum benefit to the maximum number of people can be given.

The Government of Delhi has been a fore-runner while implementing many such community programmes like the Perfect Health Melas, the 'Stree Shakti' programme and the 'Motiabind Mukti Abhiyan' that have benefited the population of Delhi immensely,'' she said.

''The Government is giving regular community ophthalmology work its full support. Running extension rural centres at Barwala and Narela to serve the rural population of Delhi at its doorstep and adopting the village of Barwala to make it cataract free in the future have been excellent steps. Having a regular affiliation for cataract screening and performing cataract surgeries with the "Life Line Express" has been another! Still a lot needs to be done,'' she stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri, who was also present along with Principal. Secretary (Health) Vivek Rae, said those patients registering under this Abhiyan, who are found to be suffering from cataract would be eligible for free treatment at any of the 40 designated hospitals that are managed by the Delhi Government, the Central Government, the MCD, the NDMC, the ESI or the NGOs.

Guru Nanak Eye Centre is the coordinating hospital of this campaign. The Health Department of Delhi has been monitoring functions of the participating agencies for activities including identification of the centres, providing necessary inputs to run the screening centres, identification of the nodal officers and further helping in distributing the IEC material and information.


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