President calls for private sector participation to fight blindness

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 20:16 hrs

President of India Pranab Mukherjee has called for private sector intervention in blindness eradication.

Quoting the Vision 2020 document of World Health Organization (WHO), he said, there would be around 76 million blind people across the globe by 2020. Currently, around 90 per cent of the worlds blind resides in developing countries.

Blindness increases economic burden by curtailing employment opportunities. The problem of blindness can be combated through provision of high quality eye care and increase in public awareness, he said.

Private sector companies and government institutions should join hands to fight blindness and visual impairment, he said while addressing the 28th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress.

The four-day congress, in conjunction with the 71st annual conference of the All India Ophthalmological Society, began here on Thursday. Over 9,500 delegates from across 110 countries are participating in the congress, which is being held in India for the second time after a gap of 28 years.

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