Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah to launch ‘Asha Kirana’ eye care programme on 18 February

Comprehensive eye check-ups will be done for individuals across all age groups under the 'Asha Kirana' scheme.


Published Feb 18, 2024 | 12:04 AMUpdatedFeb 18, 2024 | 12:04 AM

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. (Siddaramaiah.Official/Facebook)

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will launch “Asha Kirana – Eye Care at Your Doorstep” under the aegis of the National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Haveri district, on Sunday, 18 February, an official statement on Saturday said.

An initiative by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, comprehensive eye check-ups will be done for individuals across all age groups under the “Asha Kirana” scheme. Free spectacles will be provided to the visually impaired and cataract surgeries will be done free of cost, the statement said.

Objectives of Asha Kirana

According to the statement, with the objective of reducing the prevalence of avoidable blindness, “Asha Kirana” has already been implemented successfully in eight districts across two phases. The first phase covered Chikkaballapur, Kalaburagi, Haveri, and Chamarajanagar, while the second phase included Chitradurga, Mandya, Raichur, and Uttara Kannada districts.

“These initiatives have yielded promising results, with millions of individuals benefitting from primary and secondary gaps in eye health services availability. Health personnel and ASHA workers conduct primary eye check-ups for individuals of all age groups directly at their homes,” it said.

“Those who have eye problems during the screening are referred to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) for secondary screening. Individuals requiring spectacles undergo examination by ophthalmologists at the primary health centre and receive them free of cost based on their level of vision impairment,” the statement added.

According to the statement, free surgeries will be performed for cataract patients at government hospitals and hospitals of registered voluntary organisations.

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Number of the scheme

“In the first phase, a total of 5,659,036 people underwent primary screening (averaging 84 percent), of whom 828,784 people underwent further screening in four districts. Out of these, 245,587 beneficiaries have been identified for distribution of spectacles, and 39,336 people have undergone cataract surgery,” it said.

“In the second phase, a total of 5,277,235 people underwent primary screening (averaging 71 percent), out of which 943,398 people were diagnosed with eye-related problems in four districts. Further treatment, including the distribution of spectacles and surgery will be provided. Moving forward, the Asha Kirana programme will expand its reach to additional districts in subsequent phases,” it added.

Ramanagara, Yadgir, Kodagu, and Gadag are earmarked for the next phase (2024-25), followed by Chikkamagaluru, Bidar, Kolar, and Bagalkote in 2025-26. This phased approach ensures that eyecare services are extended comprehensively across the state.

Karnataka has over 6.5 crore population and is one of the well-performing states with respect to eye care. These mega eye camps will amplify the coverage of beneficiaries, prevent early complications and thereby improve the quality of life, the statement added.

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