Project to treat blindness among infants

Project to treat blindness among infants

The Union government in collaboration with a private hospital in the City has launched an initiative – Focus On Retinopathy of Prematurity, Eye Care, Vision, Eye cancer and Rehabilitation (FOREVER), to prevent blindness among infants.

Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, on Saturday said that the programme involves screening of all babies aged one year and above using a cost-effective method.

It is a part of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK), a project launched by the Centre to provide better healthcare for children.

“Under the RBSK, we have recognised 30 problems that children in our country are born with. These involve defects at birth, diseases, deficiencies and disabilities. One of them is infant blindness and we hope to prevent it,” said Desiraju.

Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha) workers will play an active role in implementation of the programme in 16 taluks, including Davangere, Bagalkot and Anekal.

“A team from Narayana Nethralaya will train over 3,200 Asha workers to screen the babies. Any child which weighs less than 2,000 gram at the time of birth will be referred for the screening,” said Dr Anand Vinekar, Programme Director. “Babies diagnosed with some abnormality are referred to the taluk and district hospitals,” he added.

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