KATHMANDU: Speakers at the programme today urged the government for formulating a gender sensitive policy to wards women. Of the total number of the visually impaired in the country, 64 per cent are women.
Bimal Poudyal, programme coordinator of Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh(NNJS) said that they were working to meet the target,”Vision 2020: The Right to Sight” for the elimination of avoidable blindness.
The priorities for Vision 2020 are based on the fact that 75 per cent of visual impairment occurs in poor communities of
the world which is
preventable and curable, too. YD Sapkota, programme coordinator of NNJS said that the dearth of money, ignorance on the disease and its treatment are the major culprits for the treatment of eye problem in Nepal.
Also noted in the discussion was the prevalence of gender-biased treatment with women receiving less treatment than men.
Addressing an interaction programme, Sapkota said that gender-friendly eye-care service was
the need of the hour
do away with the prevailing gender-biased eye-care services.
The recent survey conducted by NNJS has shown that there are around 210,000 visually impaired in Nepal. The number is increasing by 42,000 every year, the survey conducted in 11 zones in 2006, has shown.
The study said at least 400,000 people are one-eyed and an estimated 150,000 youth and 90,000 children are suffering from low vision.
Cataract, glaucoma, blindness, deficiency of Vitamin A in children and pregnant women, corneal scarring and injuries were also cited as leading causes of blindness.
The World Sight Day observed annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

Global trend of blindness

• Every five second, a person becomes blind in the world
• 40 million visually
impaired currently live in this Planet.
• One child becomes
visually impaired in every single minute, globally
• Seven children become visually impaired every day in Nepal.