Blindness in India
Despite amounting to less than 20% of the global population, over 40% of the world’s blind live in India. This is the result of a severe shortage in ophthalmologists. In a country of 1.2 billion, there are only 15,000 practicing ophthalmologists. The United States, with just a quarter of India’s population, has 20 percent more ophthalmologists.
A 2001 study estimated the number of blind persons in the country to be 18.7 million, with 9.5 million blind due to cataracts. The National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB) has made strides to reduce the prevalence of blindness and coordinate efforts to train eye surgeons. However, there is still work to be done if the NPCB is to reach its goal of reducing the prevalence of blindness to 0.3 percent by 2020.
SEE in India
Given the tremendous need in India, SEE works closely with host doctors Janak Shah and Preeti Shah. Dr. Janak and Preeti Shah have partnered with SEE since the 1990s to run their own year-round clinics. In 2016, Drs. Shah performed 560 cataract surgeries and screened thousands. In addition to their operation, SEE ran six campaigns in 2016, to restore sight to 434 more people. We hold eye clinics in Bhavnagar, Siliguri, Bhojay Kutch, Jodhpur, Kolkata, and Bankrishnapur. With your generous support, SEE plans to complete more than ten sight-restoring expeditions to India in 2017.