- There is a backlog of around 17 lakh surgeries across the state. Cataract of more than 5 lakhs people is mature. Therefore, CM Fadnavis decided to make Maharashtra cataract-free. The percentage of blindness in Maharashtra is 1.4.
- To make Maharashtra cataract-free, camps were organised at 15 places along with Jalgaon, Yavatmal, Beed, Nashik, Chandrapur and Nandurbar.
Cataract-free Maharashtra campaign:
- Objective is to perform 17 lakh surgeries between December 2017 and July 2019
- Cataract surgeries will take place in 175 eye clinics
- 350 ophthalmologists will perform surgeries in department of Health and government medical colleges
- Every day a doctor will do 20 surgeries
- Thirteen lakh surgeries will be performed in 20 months
The Padma Shri awardee, Dr Tatyarao Lahane, joint director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), who is also the chief coordinator of this project said, “From 17 lakhs, the cataract of 5 lakh people is matured. While there is a possibility of 50,000 patients suffering from cataract in both the eyes. Cataract-free Maharashtra is CM’s dream. Owing to which, the campaign is implemented.”
Dr Deepak Sawant, the state health minister, who was present at the programme said, “Cataract surgeries are performed less in Maharashtra. Due to which the campaign has been undertaken. In 10 days, 15,000 cataract surgeries have been performed. For which, the ophthalmologists should be praised.”
According to the doctor, the operation will be done without stitches. After examining the eyes thrice, the patient will be given spectacles.
Speaking about this campaign, Girish Mahajan, Minister of Medical Education said, “Under this campaign, the poor patients will be able to gain vision. After which, to make Maharashtra more efficient, a campaign on diabetes will be undertaken.”
On this occasion, CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “The campaign has been initiated so that it reaches to each and every one. Due to financial crisis, the patients in the rural areas do not undergo cataract surgeries. So, the government is trying to reach them and to give them the vision.”
Surgeries performed till now:
- Health department: 21,000
- Medical education department: 37,000
- NGOs: 42,000
- Municipal corporation and local civic bodies: 7,000
- Private medical colleges: 21,000
The Padma Shri awardee, Dr Tatyarao Lahane, joint director of Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), who is also the chief coordinator of this project has put forth the demand to the CM to make the spectacles GST-free. Dr Lahane said, “ In GST, there is a provision of Rs 250 which can be deposited in the patient’s account. But, this is not possible. So, the government should make the spectacles GST-free.”