The State Health Department, in collaboration with the National Program for Control of Blindness, on Friday launched a transformative initiative – Asha Kirana – Eye Care at Your Doorstep — in Chickballapur district. This programme will be extended to cover Kalaburagi, Haveri, and Chamarajanagar districts from September 4.
According to an official press release, the initiative is a vital step towards bridging the gap in eye health accessibility. “In impoverished and rural communities, eye care often takes a backseat, primarily due to a combination of limited awareness and financial constraints. For many, the prospect of seeking eye care remains a distant dream, overshadowed by more immediate concerns. By initiating these screenings, Asha Kirana opens a pathway for people to recognise the importance of their vision and encourages them to seek professional care when needed,” stated the release.
Common eye problems
Among the most common eye problems that people face are nearsightedness, farsightedness and age-related eye diseases, including senile cataract. These conditions, if left unaddressed, can significantly diminish one’s quality of life. Moreover, with the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and the longer duration of chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension, the risk of diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy, secondary cataract, and other eye disorders is on the rise.
During the doorstep screenings, ASHA workers/Health Department personnel will visit every household and conduct preliminary screenings on all members of the family belonging to all age groups, evaluating various parameters, including eyesight.
After the primary screening, individuals identified with eye-related issues will undergo a secondary screening conducted by skilled refractionists. “This secondary screening will help in diagnosing specific eye conditions and their severity. For those requiring surgical intervention, referrals to appropriate hospitals will be provided where surgeries are provided completely free of cost. Additionally, for those in need of prescription eyeglasses, distribution centers will be set up at Primary Health Centers (PHCs) on a later date, ensuring comprehensive eye care for all,” the release stated.