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Bhubaneswar: In an effort to develop a roadmap to reduce 25 per cent of curable blindness by 2022, Odisha government has formed an empowered committee led by LV Prasad Eye Institute's Dr Tara Prasad Das as Chairman.

The committee will have 16-member and recommend standards to implement, monitor and provide oversight for seamless implementation of universal eye care programme.

Under the programme announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik recently, the state government has set a target to achieve 25 per cent reduction in treatable/curable blindness by 2022, a notification issued by the health and family welfare department said.

The panel, is represented by ophthalmologists from state-run medical colleges and experts from private eye hospitals. The panel will guide the state government to operationalise the universal eye care programme through building a cadre of skilled medical and paramedical workforce.

Official sources said, about 80 per cent of the visual impairment is curable if treated timely. The panel will recommend measures to equip primary and secondary health facilities to provide continuum of care for ophthalmic conditions, said Health and Family Welfare Secretary P K Meherda.

The committee would work for a period of five years.

Besides, it would establish systems for routine screening, diagnosis and managing pre-disease conditions and advocate and design strengthening of eye care in health insurance/assurance programmes.

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