Sunday, February 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ban on eye camps in open 
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 23
The Union Government has banned eye cataract surgeries in schools, dharamshalas, clubs and other open places with immediate effect.

Instructions to this effect have been sent by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the state governments, union territories, all district blindness control societies, state programme officers and others concerned.

Earlier, the Union Government had allowed the district blindness control societies and NGOs to hold such operations in the schools, dharamshalas etc. This had been allowed because no proper infrastructure for this purpose is available in most parts of the country. However, such operations in the open proved harmful for the patients concerned. In fact, at certain places the patients concerned had gone blind because of the post-operations complications and also the absence of sterilisation of the place where such surgeries were conducted. The union government had received a large number of complaints in this connection.

Withdrawing its earlier permission, the Union Government has instructed all concerned to implement the new order strictly. The authorities concerned have been told to ensure that either NGOs conduct cataract surgeries in their own operating theatres or in district hospitals and medical colleges. Such NGOs has do not have operating theatres can get these surgeries conducted in district hospitals and other such places. However, the NGOs have been allowed to hold camps in dharamshalas and other such common places for detect eye ailments.

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