To make Delhi a cataract-free city, the 11th Phase of “Motiabind Mukti Abhiyan” was launched by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit at the Guru Nanak Eye Centre here on Thursday.

Ms. Dikshit said her government had set a target of operating upon 3,000 patients and examining 40,000 people during the two-day campaign. For the purpose, 500 screening centres have been set up in various parts of Delhi.

Ms. Dikshit, who also inaugurated a laser centre and visited various wards in the hospital later, said already about 35,000 patients with cataract have been operated free of cost in the past decade under the aegis of this programme. The campaign, she said, had been successful in helping build infrastructure required to go ahead with the programme.

The build-up has been two pronged. As part of it, training has been imparted to in-house non-ophthalmologists for cataract screening so that they are able to refer a needy patient for cataract surgery if deemed necessary. These doctors also guide patients about the facility for cataract screening and surgery made available by the Government and how undergoing surgery could help them.

Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia, who presided over the function, said patients registering under the campaign and found to be suffering from cataract would be eligible for free treatment at any of the designated hospitals that are managed by the Union Government, Delhi Government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council, the Employees’ State Insurance or the non-government organisation.

She said the Guru Nanak Eye Centre was the coordinating hospital for the campaign and the State Health Department would be monitoring functions of the participating agencies for activities including identification of centres, providing necessary inputs to run the screening centres and identification of nodal officers.

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