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Some 25,000 Afghans Loose Vision Each Year, MoPH

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Monday October 15 2012
Kabul (BNA) The ministry of public health on Sunday announced that around 25,000 people lose their vision in one of their eyes, but assured that more than 90% of up to 400,000 Afghan blinds are preventable and curable.
Marking the World Sight Day (WSD) here in Kabul, the ministry of public health said while there are 400,000 blind in Afghanistan and annually 25,000 Afghans loose visions in one of their eyes, however calling eye diseases and blindness common and a public health problem in Afghanistan.
But, assured that more than 90% of an estimate of 400,000 people complain about eye diseases (around 1.5% of the population in Afghanistan), was preventable & curable.
The ministry also in a statement called the main causes of blindness in Afghanistan which are counted the main eye problems as well, are reported to be cataract, corneal opacity (due to trachoma and vitamin A deficiency), refractive error, glaucoma and trauma and every year around 25000 Afghans loose vision in one of their eyes.
Studies show that blindness is more common in females than in males.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Suraya Dalil, Minister of Public Health said the development of eye facilities at the provincial level, launching of mobile eye care camps, integrating of eye cares into Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) are the mean activities of MoPH in this regard.
Mobile health teams of eye cares, during the last two years has created 26 camps in different provinces of the country, as a result, more than 37 thousand eye-patients have been treated and eye glasses were distributed to more than six thousand patients as well as, the said.
According to the statement, the ministry plans to increase the capacity of the professional staff of eye cares in the country, hereby, the ministry wants to establish a national training center with technical and financial assistance of WHO in Noor Hospital of Kabul City to train physicians, nurses and eye technicians as international standards.
Meanwhile at ceremony, WHO representative, Dr. Eshfaq Ahmad spoke on the issue, saying estimated shows that more 285 million people worldwide are visually impaired, and yet preventable causes are as high as 80% of the global visual impairment burden.
90% of blind people live in developing countries, and this needless waste costs individuals, families and communities billions of dollar every year, the statement maintained.
Dalil advised for a certain need that have to be developed in Afghanistan in the area of capacity building of eye care of the Ministry of Public Health to reduce blindness, develop human resources for eye care, increase the cataract surgical rate through outreach program, integrate eye care within the health care programmed of Essential Package of Hospital Services (EPHS) and expansion of eye care to the underserved rural and provincial hospitals.

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