Global blind population may touch 76 million by 2020: IAPB

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Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNI) Despite concerted international intervention the magnitude of blindness may touch a shocking 76 million in the world by 2020 against the current 45 million, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness(IAPB) said.

In a meeting at Eye Infirmary Hospital in the port city of Chittagong on Friday, the Agency observed that every five seconds, one person goes blind in the world and every minute a child goes blind. 45 million people worldwide are blind and 314 million people have significant vision impairment, it said.

The week-long meetings centered on progress and future directions for Vision 2020, a joint initiative of IAPB and World Health Organisation (WHO) with an international coalition of non-governmental organisations(NGOs), professional bodies, institutions and corporations, united in the fight against blindness.

leading figures in the international blindness prevention movement and representing major NGOs and Professional Associations participated in the meetings.

Vision 2020 aims to raise the profile of vision impairment among key audiences, to mobilise resources for blindness prevention and to help governments to implement national eye care plans, incorporating three key principles - cost-effective disease control interventions, targeting diseases such as cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, human resource development and development of infrastructure.

According to the World Health Organisation estimates, India has One-fifth of the total global blind population.

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