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Project to make parts of Meghalaya free from 'avoidable blindness'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

A Reporter

SHILLONG, June14: Eye Health Project of the Bansara Eye Care Centre is trying to eradicate and make some parts of Meghalaya free from ‘avoidable blindness’ in a few years time, by educating and promoting better health care.

A total of 21 camps were conducted over a period of five months since January this year in Mawlai and Pynthorumkrah areas.

This project is being conducted in the three districts – East Khasi Hills, West and East Jaintia Hills - with the support of the community and local authorities.

Bansara Eye Care Director Dr. J Basaiawmoit said, “We want to declare these places as avoidable blindness free in few years time. It is an ambitious project, but we are trying to achieve that goal.”

“The idea behind this project is to create awareness for improving the health seeking behaviour of the people in as far as health care is concerned, especially those with eye problems,” said Dr Basaiawmoit.

He also informed that the centre has trained and appointed local people from the community as Vision Guardians, for conducting ‘surveys’ and also to identify the people who are in need of treatment.

Dr Basaiawmoit said that these Vision Guardians would make house visits and interact with the local people, identify their problems and make them understand that prevention is better than cure.

According to him, of the 2,700 patients who have been benefited from the project, 71 of them underwent surgeries for eye problems related to cataract, glaucoma and reti.

“People having higher income can pay. People can also use their MHIS cards, while we give free treatment to those who don’t have anything at all,” said Dr Basaiawmoit.

Dr Basaiawmoit further stated that money should not become a barrier. “Even though we have to be sustaible, we still have to look after the have-nots,” he said.

Revealing some of success stories of the project, she said there are some patients, who have suffered for more than 15 to 20 years. “They have come forward to our camp and we referred them to the hospital and now they are alright. The hospital is also considering extending the project to other parts of the state as well,” he added.

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