COLOMBO, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Nearly a million in Sri Lanka, out of its 21-million population, suffer from blindness or from conditions that could lead to blindness due to an increase in the number of cataract patients, local media reported on Tuesday.
To commemorate the World Sight Day 2018 which falls on Oct. 11, the Health Ministry said that one of the major causes of cataract was diabetes while school children who suffered from obesity were also vulnerable to cataract or other vision impairment diseases later in life.
Director General of Health Services Anil Jasinghe said that over 285 million people suffered from optical issues in the world and over 90 percent of them were from low or middle income countries.
He said cataract was the main cause for blindness in Asia and Africa.
Dr. Jasinghe said that Sri Lanka would soon amend its Vision 2020 program to meet the rising demand for eye care in the island. This program enables free eye care and lenses to patients and aims at eliminating avoidable blindness from Sri Lanka by the year 2020.
Dr. Jasinghe further said the number of patients who sought eye surgeries in state hospital due to the availability of free eye lenses had seen a drastic increase in the island.