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BLINDNESS PREVENTION THROUGH SCREENING FOR DIABETIC RETINOPATHY AND GLAUCOMA IN RURAL POPULATION – A NOVEL APPROACH

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Author(s): Surekha V. Bangal | Somasundaram V. K. | Neeta S. Misra

Journal: International Journal of Biomedical Research
ISSN 0976-9633

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 46;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Glaucoma | Diabetic Retinopathy | Screening

ABSTRACT
Background: Rapid Survey by Government of India (2006-07) estimated  the prevalence of blindness as 1% and 0.95% in India and  Maharashtra respectively.  Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is seen in 3.5% of all and 18% of diabetic cases above 40 years of age. Glaucoma is also one of the potentially blinding diseases that affect 11.2 million persons aged 40 years and above in India Objectives: of the project were to build the capacity of General Practitioners (GPs) & Female Health Volunteers (FHVs) for early detection & referral of diabetics cases from the rural  area ,to establish an effective referral linkage between trained GPs, FHVs & Pravara hospital for further evaluation and treatment at referral center. Results: During the project period, 6860 individuals were screened by GP,FHV and the specialists. Out of the screened population , 486 cases (7.08%) were diagnosed and treated for glaucoma. Among 5176 individuals screened for DR, 453 cases (8.75%) were diagnosed and treated. Conclusion: Blindness due to DR and glaucoma can be reduced by organizing screening programmes at village level with the help of trained health volunteers and paramedical workers . Early detection  ,timely referral to higher centers and specialized treatment can prevent the long term morbidity due to blindness and would improve the quality of life.

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