Some 66 schoolchildren identified in Ganjam district
Jointly held by the ‘Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan’ and Ecos Eye Hospital
Over 2 lakh children were tested for eye ailments between Oct. and Dec.
BERHAMPUR: Children can also develop cataract although it is a common erroneous belief that it is only happens to elderly persons.
It is an irony that awareness about cataract among children is too low among parents and therefore its neglect is rampant. Sixty six schoolchildren of Ganjam district in Orissa were identified to be suffering from cataract. They were identified through a project taken up jointly by the ‘Sarva Shikshya Abhiyan’ and the Ecos Eye Hospital of the city.
Eyes of over 2,20,000 primary school children in Ganjam district were tested for eye ailments between October and December last year. Out of them around 2,200 children was suffering from refractive errors of the eye.
They were provided corrective spectacles on the spot. But the parents of children found to be suffering from cataract were persuaded to get their children operated for clear vision at free of cost.
Nineteen children suffering from cataract were operated in the first phase of operations, which ended on Friday. The operations were conducted by Dr. Mihir Kumar Bal at the Ecos Eye Hospital.
Cataract is the clouding or increase in the opacity of the transparent lens inside our eyes. It is common cause of depletion of vision in aged adults.
Although uncommon it may also occur in infants and children, said Dr. Bal. Sometimes it may be hereditary, being passed to the child, usually from a parent who had the problem. Rubella infection, diabetes in the pregnant mothers or child is also its major causes.
Deficiency of Vitamins A and D, iron and proteins in diets of expectant mothers increases chances of cataract in children.
Nutritional deficiencies decrease the blood supply to the child’s eye and increase the chances of developing paediatric cataract. Poor lactation and improper weaning practices after birth can add to it.
But usually parents neglect this visual deficiency in their children due to ignorance. Even if they know about it they delay the cataract operation with the plea that it may be done when the child grows up.
But this delay prevents normal development of the eye. It leads to an amblyopia or lazy eye, another severe complication of the eye.