World Eye Donation Day – Blindness due to diabetes on the rise in Gujarat, more urban 

Gandhinagar, 9 June 2023
June 10, 2023 is World Eye Donation Day. 68 lakh people in India have severe visual impairment due to corneal diseases. According to the data of the National Program for Control of Blindness, 45,294 eyes were donated in 2021-22 as against 60 thousand. 24,783 keratoplasty procedures were performed. Which is two and a half times as compared to 2020-21. Blindness due to diabetes is on the rise in Gujarat.

There are 68 to 73 lakh clairvoyants in India out of a total of 36 million clairvoyants in the world. 20.5 percent of the world’s giants are in India. India is second only to China in terms of number of astrologers. Cataracts account for 50 percent of the various causes of blindness. The number of ophthalmologist doctors is 18,100. There are only 14 ophthalmologists per million population.

Against the target of 55,000 in 2020-21, the number of eyes donated was 17,402. A total of 11,859 keratoplasty-corneal transplants were performed. In 2019-20, 65,417 donated eyes were collected and 31,019 keratoplasty procedures were performed. It is estimated to be in Gujarat on the basis of 6 percent population. It is estimated that 3 lakh 50 thousand people in Gujarat have severe vision impairment due to corneal diseases.

HMIS web portal is being set up by the Government of Gujarat with the objective of maintaining the quality of eyewitnesses received in eye donation. It will have all eye donation centers, eye banks and eye transplants in the state. “Real time tracking” to be done from the time eye donation is received for kidney transplant

With the help of modern technology, eye donation of one person can give sight to 3 to 4 people.

On an average, 70,000 eyewitness donations are received in the country against the annual requirement of about 2,00,000 eyewitnesses. Out of which only 35 to 40 percent of the eyes can be used for kidney transplant. In Gujarat, this eye donation ratio is 50 to 55%.

The blindness rate of Gujarat state has come down from 0.9% to 0.3%. The state government and the health department have set a target to bring down the rate of blindness in the state to 0.25 percent by the year 2025.

In the year 2022-23, 6,26,638 operations were done. Gujarat was at number one in the country with 504%.

According to a 2019 report, 7.4% of blindness is due to eye diseases. Causes of blindness due to retinal diseases include trauma, infection, malnutrition, vitamin deficiencies, and congenital malformations. Blindness due to macular disease is on the rise. Currently more than 2,00,000 persons are blind due to macular diseases in the country. 20,000 new cases are reported every year.

The state of Gujarat has achieved success in getting 5441 eye donations in the year 2022-23.

There are 33 Eye Banks, 66 Eye Donation Centers and 06 Eye Transplant Centers.

174 optometrists on duty for eye donation have been given special training to receive eye donation in three years.

₹ 40 lakh has been provided for the establishment of Eye Bank.

According to the reports of two international agencies, Indians are losing their eyesight due to increasing diabetes. 507 million people worldwide suffer from myopia. Out of which 13.76 crore people are from India only. Diabetes is more in Gujarat as compared to other states of India. The disease of diabetes is increasing and due to this the eyesight of Indians is getting weak and the problem of blindness is increasing. In 1990, there were 26 million diabetic patients in India, which has increased to 65 million in 2016.

This does not look close to the 5.77 crore people in 1990. The number of people with myopia doubled to 13.76 crore in 2020. Now it is estimated to be around Rs 15 crore. The number of nearsighted people in Gujarat can be 80 to 70 lakhs.

Nearsightedness refers to the inability to focus on near objects. Also called presbyopia. Data shows that the risk increases after the age of 40.

The cases of moderate and severe eye damage have also increased from 4.06 crore in 1990 to 7.9 crore in 2020. A normal person who can see from 60 feet can now see only as close as 3 feet.

High-calorie diet, sedentary lifestyle is increasing the risk of type-2 diabetes and blindness. As of 2017, 7.3% of people in 15 states were diabetic. 11.2% people in urban areas were diabetic as compared to 5.2% in rural areas.

78% of blind people worldwide are over the age of 50. As the muscles become weak with increasing age, the risk of weakening of the eyes also increases. Presently 92 lakh people are blind in India. In 1990 this figure was 70 lakhs. Thus, there are 89 million blind people in China. Looking at these statistics, 49% of the world’s blind population lives in these two countries.

One in 300 people in India i.e. 0.36% of the population is blind. 2 percent of people over the age of 50 cannot see.