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Punjab health department to observe glaucoma week from March 10th health minister releases awareness posters
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Punjab health department to observe glaucoma week from March 10th health minister releases awareness posters : Taking forward the vision of Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann to provide the best health facilities to the general public, the Punjab Health Department will be observing World Glaucoma Week from March 10 to March 16, 2024, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh here on Thursday.

Punjab health department to observe glaucoma week from March 10th health minister releases awareness posters

The Minister, while releasing the awareness posters in this regard, informed that as a part of this campaign, free Glaucoma check-up camps will be organized by the Punjab Health Department in District Hospitals, Sub-Divisional Hospitals and Government Medical Colleges during this week so that people suffering from glaucoma can be identified and treated in a timely manner.

He asked the concerned officials to distribute these awareness posters among all the health facilities of the state to sensitize people regarding the symptoms and treatment of Glaucoma.

Reiterating the Punjab Government’s resolve to transform the health infrastructure of the state, Dr Balbir Singh said that six ultra-modern machines (Non-Contact Tonometer) to detect Glaucoma have already been installed in six district hospitals of Punjab, while the process to provide these latest machines in all the districts is underway.

Dr Balbir Singh, who himself is an eye surgeon, said that glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. In 90 percent of cases, blindness due to glaucoma can be prevented with early detection and treatment. It is characterised by damage to the optic nerve due to an increase in eye pressure (intra-ocular pressure) leading to irreversible blindness. Glaucoma is sometimes called a silent thief of vision because it can cause irreparable damage without showing early symptoms. The patient will not be symptomatic till the disease has progressed to a moderate or advanced stage.

Dr Balbir Singh further said “Anyone can get glaucoma but certain people are at higher risk such as age above 60, family history, medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, myopia, taking corticosteroid preparations especially eye drops for a long time. Eye injuries can also result in glaucoma. Early detection and careful lifelong treatment can maintain vision in most people.”

It is pertinent to mention here that approximately 12 million Indians suffer from the disease with 1.2 million are blind due to it. Therefore people at risk and those who are above 40 years of age should go for detailed eye examination every two to three years and people who are above the age of 65 must undergo an eye examination every six months.

The critical challenges in glaucoma management are low level of awareness, undetected and undiagnosed cases, poor access to glaucoma diagnostic and therapeutic services and issues related to compliance with treatment.

The Minister said the Health Department is planning a series of IEC activities under NPCB &VI to create awareness among the public about the prevention and control of glaucoma including radio talks, awareness talks/CMEs, nukkad nataks, awareness rallies, lectures, painting competitions in schools, walkathons and social media campaigns.

Meanwhile, the Minister also exhorted the general public to go for their eye examination at the free check-up camps to be organized this week and contribute to the prevention of glaucoma

Director Health and Family Welfare Dr Adarshpal Kaur and State Program Officer NPCB and VI Dr Neeti Singla were also present on this occasion.

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