conference of central council of health and family welfare Current Affairs - 2020

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National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey, 2019

The National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey was released by the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare.

The survey was conducted by the AIIMS, Delhi and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The report was released in October 10, 2019. The survey was conducted between 2015 and 2019.

India is the first country to launch National Program for Control of Blindness in 1976. The aim of the program is currently to reduce the blindness prevalence to 0.3% by 2020.

Key findings of the report

  • Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in people above 50 years. OF these around 93% of blindness cases and 96.2% of visual impairment cases are avoidable
  • The prevalence of blindness in India is 1.99%. Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh has the highest population suffering from blindness. Around 3.67% of the district are blind and 21.82% suffer visual impairment.
  • Blindness is more pronounced among illiterates as compared to literates. Around 3.23% illiterates are blind and 0.43% literates are blind
  • Also, blindness is more prevalent in rural population (2.14%) as compared to urban (1.8%)

Causes of blindness according to the report

  • The causes included
    • Aphakia – Absence of lens in the eye
    • Untreated non-infectious corneal opacity-scarring of cornea
  • Cataract related surgical complication was the second highest cause for blindness.
  • The outcomes of cataract surgery are not good everywhere. Around 40% of cataract were done in government facilities. Rest of the surgeries took place in private and non – profit facilities. Of these, only 57.8% saw good visual outcome.
  • Cost was the biggest barrier in accessing cataract surgeries. Around 22.1% of blindness was caused because of cost as a barrier.
  • Around 22.1% of blindness were caused due to lack of awareness

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CCHFW – Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare

The 13th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare was inaugurated by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. The conference is to be held for one and half days on various issues in seven sessions.

About the Conference

The purpose of the conference is to build a consensus on National wealth priorities. It includes Universal Health Coverage through various flagship programs like Ayushman Bharat, National Control of Tuberculosis Program, National Nutrition Mission, etc. The conference also aims to promote steps towards the target of National Health Policy 2017, that is, to allocate 2.5% of GDP to health by 2025.

Highlights

  • The conference is to be conducted on 4 pillars of healthcare namely
    • Universal Health Coverage
    • Mission mode interventions
    • Quality and accessible affordable healthcare services
    • Adequate Infrastructure
  • At the inaugural function the Union Health Minister Dr Harsha Varshan released the following reports
    • National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey India (2015 – 19)
    • Report on National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy survey India (2015 – 19)
  • The minister also unveiled leaflets on Suicide Prevention marking the World Mental Health Day
  • The following guidelines were released
    • Guidelines on Drugs and Diagnostic Service Initiative
    • Guidelines for Biomedical Equipment Management and Maintenance Program
    • Guidelines for Peritoneal Dialysis under Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Program.
  • SUMAN – Surakshit Matritva Aashwasam – A new initiative for zero preventable maternal and new born deaths was launched.

Issues included in the agenda of the conference

  • Strengthening National Health Mission
  • Control programs for TB, Vector Borne diseases, Leprosy, Viral Hepatitis
  • National AIDS program
  • Reproductive health
  • Cardio – vascular diseases, Non – communicable diseases
  • Regulation in medical education
  • National Organ Transplant program
  • Clinical establishment acts

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