Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre
Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre
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Eye Care Challenges in India and Uttar Pradesh

India has more blind people than any other country in the world. Of the 45 million blind people worldwide, Indian citizens number 12 million, 1 million of whom are children. Considering the fact that almost 70 percent of blindness is curable, these numbers speak volumes for the poor infrastructure and facilities available in the eye care sector in the county, leading to a very large un-served population. The loss of productivity, as a result, is huge for India – the cost of blindness in the county equals US$ 3 billion annually.

The situation in North India in general and Uttar Pradesh in particular is even more dismal. The state has a 1.15 percent prevalence of blindness. A closer look at the causes for this high rate of blindness - cataract (73 percent); refractive errors (9 percent); glaucoma (8 percent); corneal opacity (1 percent); surgical complications (2 percent); others (8 percent) – clearly indicates that with adequate eye care facilities and infrastructure this blindness is preventable and curable.

The following figures bear testimony to the poor state of eye care in UP:

Eye Care Infrastructure

Number of eye hospitals (including private clinics): 613
Number of eye beds: 9,126
Number of ophthalmologists: 964
Population per ophthalmologist: 180,178
Population per eye bed: 19,033


Number of cataract surgeries in a year: 567,718
Surgeries per million population: 3,269
Proportion of intraocular lens surgeries: 56.9 percent
Cataract surgical coverage: 59.1 percent