A decade-old wish to see his grandchildren came true for Jarapula Lalu who underwent a free senile natural cataract surgery as part of the State government’s Kanti Velugu programme.

The 79-year-old Lalu from Munigapally village in Wyra constituency of Khammam district has been suffering from vision impairment for long and a team of doctors as part of the eye tests conducted in the village noticed that he had senile natural cataract in both his eyes and was facing hardship due to lack of clear vision. The doctors referred him for surgery, which ended successfully, and Lalu is now able to see perfectly, thanks to the Kanti Velugu programme.

This is not the case with Jarapula Lalu in Khammam district alone, but about 20-30 elderly persons regained their vision after almost a decade, said Khammam Medical and Health Officer Dr A Kondal Rao. The State level figures show how the programme was benefiting and bringing rapid progress in extending vision exams to people. The Medical and Health department has so far covered 34 lakh individuals at the eye check up camps since its launch on August 15.

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Kanti Velugu programme, the main concept, was to identify eye problems well before they reach a serious stage, said Medical and Health Department Commissioner Yogita Rana to Telangana Today, adding 60 per cent of eye diseases in the elderly could be tackled if they were addressed at the right time and in children the percentage was 16.05.

Free spectacles
“The Kanti Velugu programme will find out these diseases well in advance and assure people of a clear vision and save them from vision loss,” Rana said, adding that the State government had initiated this programme not only to identify eye problems of the people but to also distribute free reading glasses and prescription spectacles.

The Commissioner said that the people were expressing happiness over the programme and were coming to camps to get their eyes checked, and in some villages people who had been suffering from low vision and needed support of family members to go out during the night, were cured of such problems after they were treated under the Kanti Velugu programme. “In some cases, after 15-18 years, some elderly persons had a clear vision now, thanks to Kanti Velugu. They had either neglected the problem or had no support to take them to hospitals, but Kanti Velugu had brought light into their lives,” she said.

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She said under the programme every day 1.5 lakh to 1.6 lakh people were screened in the State at special camps. Explaining the importance of the programme she said if people didn’t approach doctors for years together on eye-related problems such as ‘glaucoma’ the nervous system in the eye would get adjusted within and over a period of time it was not possible to regain clear vision. Kanti Velugu would help them avoid such problems, she said.

Praise for initiative
Yogita Rana said the global summit on ophthalmology, which was held last week in Hyderabad, and attended by specialists from across the globe, hailed the State government’s Kanti Velugu programme and said nowhere in the world was such a programme carried out and it was only because of the TS government’s vision on providing good health to people, Rana said. The summit declared that pre-screening of eye problems would help people a great deal to avoid serious complications, she said.

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Under the programme the government had so far distributed around seven lakh reading glasses and another 7.2 lakh prescription spectacles to people in the State. “It was a continuous programme and camps were organised in all districts. People were very happy and were coming forward to get their eyes checked, which shows the programme’s tremendous success,” said Minister for Health Dr C Laxma Reddy, adding that people in the State were thanking the government for launching such a useful programme. Some other States were also hailing the programme. The Minister also appealed to people to visit the camps and avail of the free spectacles and surgeries, if needed. #KhabarLive