Madurai: A leading community opthamlolgy institute, part of city-based Aravind Eyecare System, today said it was working on improving on catatract surgery rate in sub-Saharan African region.
Lion Aravind Institute of Community Opthalmology (LAICO) was involved in the programme being a part of the Aravind Eyecare System which is a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness.
It was aiming at raising the catract surgery rate from the present 200-400 for a million population to 2,000 to 3,000 surgeries in the sub-Saharan African region, LAICO Executive Director R D Thulasiraj said.
The institute was working along with Dana Centre for Preventive Opthalmology of Johns Hopkins University and Conrad N Hilton Foundation, a funding organisation, in the programme.
Thulasiraj said the surgical rates would be improved by laying emphasis on efficiency, quality and reaching out to the poor.
Five hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa had been identified for improving cataract surgery rates.
Lack of transporation facilities and insufficient human resources were reasons for the low surgery rates, he said in a press note.
In the first phase of the programme from 2013 to 2016, five hospitals in Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia, performed 22,000 additional cataract surgeries with higher quality outcomes, he said.
The second phase commenced on April 21, he added.