AIIMS-Delhi Carries Out India’s First Visual Impairment Survey In Odisha’s Ganjam

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Berhampur: For the first time in the country, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi has taken up Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Visual Impairment (RAAVI) survey in two districts of Odisha.

The AIIMS in collaboration with ECOS Eye Hospital in Berhampur and with the support of Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM), Germany is making the survey from February 11 to 25. The survey team comprises 16 members from AIIMS and 6 from ECOS. ASHA workers are also included in the survey.

“The aim of this survey is to determine the prevalence and causes of visual impairment and blindness among the 40 plus population in Ganjam and Khurda districts. Besides, it will ascertain the visual outcomes after cataract surgery among the operated cases, estimate the cataract surgical coverage in the districts, ascertain barriers for uptake of cataract surgery, assess coverage for spectacles among refractive error cases and assess the barriers for uptake of refractive error and spectacles services”, said Dr Mihir Bala, Director, ECOS.

The RAAVI survey has covered 2100 persons in Ganjam district from February 11 to 18 and will cover equal number in Khurda from February 19 to 25. Total 30 randomly selected clusters have been covered in Ganjam with 70 persons from each cluster.

However, the coverage in Ganjam was 86% with 1820 individuals including 815 males and 1005 females examined out of the target 2100. This is a pilot survey and would be conducted in every district of India, if it yields positive results, Dr Bala said.

Essential information pertaining to the survey’s objectives was captured through a questionnaire consisting of eight different sections. Basic eye medications were distributed in the field and arrangements made for cataract surgeries and refraction services for needy patients at ECOS Eye Hospital.

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