Cataract is being seen not only among elderly patients but even kids are becoming victims of the disease,said Dr R V Ramani,founder of Sankara Eye Care Institution,India(SECI),who was in the city. SECI is to open its 11th hospital in Ludhiana in the premises of Vipul World and the inauguration will be done on April 1. Further talking about cataract in children,Ramani said,At our hospitals we perform about 10-15 operations a week on kids with problems of cataract,squint etc. Cataract is seen in kids of couples who are close relatives and also if the mother suffers a viral infection during the first trimester of pregnancy. Even diabetic retinopathy on the rise among children,apart from adult patients.
In Punjab the number of cataract and glaucoma patients is the highest in the Moga and Bhatinda regions according the Government records,he informed. Dr Ramani said that diabetic patients are being seen in large numbers in rural areas as well and it is no longer a disease only among the affluent classes.
He said that 45 million people in India are visually handicapped,12 million are totally blind. In fact,a fourth of the worlds blind population lives in India. Speaking about the hospital that is being opened in Ludhiana,Ramani said that it is a Rs 25 crore project in which 80 per cent patients will be treated free and the remaining 20 per cent patients (from upper middle and middle classes) will pay charges. Since the ground-breaking ceremony of the hospital a years and a half ago,40 local girls have been identified and trained as Vision Care Technicians at different Sankara Eye Hospitals.
They have been given stipends of Rs 3,000 per month apart from free training. They will be working in the Ludhiana hospital,said Ranjodh Singh,patron of the hospital.