NAMSAI, 22 Feb: Health Minister Alo Libang launched the state government’s integrated primary eye care model at the SC-HWC in Dharampur here on 21 February.
“Through this model, the state aims to ensure that everyone is screened for eye-related problems at the right time, so that timely treatment is provided free of cost to ensure that no one goes blind due to avoidable causes,” the minister said.
Also present at the event was Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who spoke about a “‘people first’ approach through which model eye care services will be strengthened at health and wellness centres, along with effective referral linkages to bring quality eye care services closer to people’s homes.”
Both the ministers acknowledged the contribution of the partners – USAID-NISHTHA/Jhpiego and Operation Eyesight for developing the model.
The model will be implemented in four zones, comprising 10 districts, in two phases. In the first phase, the model will be implemented in Changlang, Namsai and Lower Subansiri districts. In the second phase, it will be implemented in Upper Siang, Upper Subansiri, Kra Daadi, Kamle, Kurung Kumey, Papum Pare and Itanagar capital region.
Arunachal has the second highest prevalence of blindness in the country at 2.28 percent. In view of this, the state government has developed an integrated primary eye care model with support from the USAID’s flagship health system strengthening project NISHTHA and other partners.
Namsai DC RK Sharma, NVPBVI SNO Dr Taba Khanna, HWC SNO Dr Lobsang Jampa, AIDS Control Programme SNO Dr R Rina, DMO Dr Soreya Namchum, and representatives from the USAID-NISHTHA/Jhpiego and Operation Eyesight were present at the inauguration.