8.45 million cataract eye rectified in China

cataract-surgeryThe Ministry of Health, China, claims today that the country has provided surgeries for 8.45 million cataract patients so far. Among the total list of cataract patients China in the last 20 years up to 2008, conducted 840,000 free treatments.

Though cataract surgery is considered to be one of the most cost-effective forms of health intervention, still the rate of cataract surgery is less than 250 operations per million people per year in most of the developing and under developing countries, while in developed countries the rate is up to 8,000.

At present China is having at least one million poverty stricken cataract patients, despite of the countries intense efforts to treat and eradicate cataract and restore cataract related blindness.
Cataract blindness occurs when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing gradual loss of vision and ultimately blindness.

Deputy Health minister, Ma Xiaowei, called for major  medical institutions in cities to give support to county-level hospitals in the field of ophthalmology and help improve their capacity in treating eye problems mainly cataract in rural areas, as cataract is the leading cause of blindness in China.

Cataract is the most prevalent treatable form of blindness in the world. Cataract causes about 48% of all blindness. It is much more common as a person’s age increases; however in developing countries the onset of cataract blindness can often be much earlier due to increased exposure to ultraviolet light and smoking.

Keeping in mind that the number of cataract cases is likely to double in the next 20 years due to the aging world population, the health ministry has already started a sight restoring programme for targeting about 200,000 operations on rural and impoverished cataract patients within the current year.

Source: Xinhuanet

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