The incidence of blindness in Bangladesh has dropped by 35 percent in the last 20 years, according to a survey conducted by Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB).
The survey titled, “Nationwide Blindness Survey 2020” was conducted with technical and financial support from the National Eye Care, to find the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment among the population aged 30 and above and their causes.
The findings of the survey were disclosed by CIPRB at a hotel in the capital on Thursday afternoon.
The survey was conducted in villages and towns of 64 districts of the country from October 2020 to January 2021. The survey collected data from 18,810 men and women. The survey shows that the rate of blindness in the country has decreased by 35 percent in the last 20 years.
A survey was conducted in 1999 to find out the rate of blindness in the country and it found the prevalence of blindness from cataracts to be 1.53 percent with a total of 650,000 blindness cases.
This number has decreased to 534,000 in the latest survey of 2020.
However, the population of the country has increased by 45 percent and the average life expectancy has also increased during this period.
According to the survey, one out of every 100 people in the country is a victim of blindness. At present about seven and a half lakh people cannot see and 19 out of 100 people suffer from visual impairment.
Researchers involved in conducting the survey said that untreated cataracts are the main cause of blindness in the country.
The cause of 71 percent of blindness is not getting cataract treatment. Other causes include diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and aging.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque was present as the chief guest at the programme chaired by Professor Golam Mostafa, president of National Eye Care.
Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Mia and Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Abul Bashar Khurshid Alam were also present during this time.