Bhubaneswar: In a bid to minimise the number of curable visually challenged persons in the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched Universal Eye Care Programme, which is the first of its kind in the country.
“Odisha is the first State in the country to have formulated a Universal Eye Care Programme with an expenditure pegged at Rs 600 crore which will be borne by the State in next five years. This initiative will go a long way in controlling curable blindness” Patnaik told news men soon after launching the programme at Jayadev Bhawan here.
Necessary institutional mechanism has been put in place for screening and providing free treatment to all persons with curable vision problems, Health Minister Pratap Jena said.
“We have targeted at a blind-free State by 2022. Those who have lost their sight to cataract and retinopathy due to diabetes will be given free treatment. Students will be given priority under the flagship programme” Jena added.
The CM also launched a health web portal through which all individuals with eye problems can register.
A high level committee comprising noted Ophthalmologist Padmashree Dr DP Das, other eye experts and some national and international level NGOs has also been set up to supervise all works under the programme, Jena added.