Present status of eye care in India

Surv Ophthalmol. Jan-Feb 2005;50(1):85-101. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2004.10.008.


India, the second most populous country in the world, is home to 23.5% of the world's blind population. In 1976 India became the first country in the world to start a national program for control of blindness. All surveys in the country have shown that cataract is the most common cause of blindness and all prevention of blindness programs have been "cataract-oriented." However, it has recently been recognized that the visual outcome of the cataract surgeries as well as the training of ophthalmologists has been less than ideal. There is now increasing emphasis on high-quality surgery and up-gradation of skills among ophthalmologists. Other important causes of blindness are refractive errors, childhood blindness, corneal blindness, and glaucoma. The definitions, magnitude, and present status of each of these causes of blindness, as well as efforts at control, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration
  • Prevalence