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Sagar Trust : Free Oculoplastic Surgeries for the poor - Combating Reversible Blindness
Your contributions can help the visually impaired lead a life of dignity

Blindness Statistics

Currently, there are about 15 million blind people in India. Luckily, however, about 80% of this blindness is reversible & a high percentage of this, > 60%, is cataract related. Unlike surgeries such as say heart, orthopaedic, gynecological and neurological among others, cataract surgery does not require a very complex armamentarium of anaesthetic back up, radiological equipment or complicated bypass machines. It just takes a good phacoemulsification unit and an experienced surgeon to do the needful. The surgery is done under local or topical anaesthesia as an outpatient surgery requiring no hospitalization. The surgery is short (average time 10-15mt) and instantly gratifying. Compared to other surgeries, it can be fairly inexpensive to perform (depending on make of lens used). In short, it is a surgery where a little can achieve a lot.

Some years ago (1976), the Indian government launched the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) as a 100% centrally sponsored scheme with the goal to reduce the prevalence of blindness from 1.4% to 0.3% by 2020. The target for the 10th Plan was to reduce the prevalence of blindness to 0.8% by 2007. The current prevalence of blindness is about 1% (2006-07 Survey). About 58 lac cataract surgeries were performed and documented under NPCB for the year 2008-2009 (March). So despite a lot of work being done, a huge amount of ground still remains to be covered. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs [CCEA], the highest body constituted by the Parliament of India, has endorsed and approved a budget of INR 1250 [twelve hundred and fifty] crores on 3 October 2008 for the XI th five-year (2007-12) plan period under the National Program for Control of Blindness (Dr Jose et al, IJO).

Since the magnitude of the problem is such, the Government has not been able to tackle the problem entirely on its own (the world bank which assisted greatly in the programme till 2002, now no longer does so) and has taken the enlightened step of involving non governmental agencies as well. Increasingly, over the years, private hospitals and NGOs are sharing this responsibility with the Government and there has been a rich flowering of this partnership and a consequent greater ability to tackle the numbers…In keeping with this trend and wanting to be active participants rather than passive bystanders, several individuals and agencies have also come forward and they hold eye surgery camps to do their bit towards eradication of blindness. Sagar Trust is one of them.

More About Diseases of the Eyes

Diseases of the eyelids include those present since birth (termed congenital) or acquired later. Treatment is available for all lid related disorders, some of which are :
Abnormal position of the eyelid – droopy eyelid or retracted eyelid. The lid is surgically repositioned so that the eyes look equal in size.

Benign and malignant growth on the eyelid lid (tumours) - excision of tumour with reconstruction of remaining defect is done

  • Inturning or outward turning of eyelids – The direction of lids can be adjusted and corrected by surgery.
  • Abnormal direction of lashes - the troublesome lashes can be permanently removed by electrolysis.
  • Spasm of eyelids causing forced closure of eyelids (botox injections available)
  • Any growths, deposits, moles causing cosmetic embarrassment can be removed

Diseases of the tear drainage (lacrimal) system

The lacrimal drainage system consists of the apparatus that helps in channeling tears from the conjunctival sac (area in front of the eyes) to the nose, which is the normal outflow channel. Any blockage in this channel can lead to an accumulation and overflow of tears and cause problems such as the following :

  • Abnormal watering from the eyes (since birth or acquired)
  • Swelling of the area between the eyes and the nose (mucocoele of the lacrimal sac)
  • Swelling and redness of the lacrimal sac area (acute dacryocystitis)

Dacryocystorhinostomy operation makes a new connection between the eyes and the nose internally so that the tears can once again drain into the nose and don’t overflow from the eye. This arrests the constant watering.

Diseases of the structures between the eyeball and its bony socket (orbital diseases)

The orbit is the area surrounding the eyeball and within the bony cage of the eye. It includes diseases and tumours which may push the eyeball outwards or cause a problem in functioning of muscles or push on the optic nerve making it difficult to see.

  • Outward bulging of eyeball (proptosis)
  • Problems in muscle movement causing double vision
  • Thyroid related eye disease
  • Tumours of the orbital area
  • Infections of the orbital area

Disfigured or shrunken eyes

The entire range of surgeries is available to replace a disfigured eye with an artificial implant and prosthesis which makes the eyes appear cosmeticaaly the same. Reconstruction surgeries for the socket are also available to create a socket to harbour an artificial eye when there is not enough space available.

Cosmetic surgery of the eyes and periocular area

This includes removal of xanthelasma, removal of under eye bags and lose skin over upper eyelids, botox injections for crows feet and frown lines and fillers and peels for improving contours, wrinkles and hollows. Peels for skin discolouration and dark circles under eyes are also available.

 

Sagar Trust (Regd), Exempted from Tax u/s 80 G, (5) (iv) of I.T. act, 1961 Vide Director of Income Tax
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