NAB Kaikhushroo J. Chinoy Centre for Prevention of Blindness and Low Vision
“Prevention of Preventable and Cure of Curable Blindness” being one of its mission statements, NAB (India) set up the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness (NSPB) in 1959. Through the support of the Government and international funding agencies, NSPB made significant contribution to ophthalmic research and community eye health at the national level, and was eventually conferred autonomous status.
The Prevention of Blindness Committee constituted by NAB (India) during 1976-77, collaborated with several international agencies to initiate sight restoration and prevention of nutritional blindness programs, primarily in rural India and slums of Mumbai. Other significant achievements of this Committee included: establishment of the Abdulla Fazelbhoy Centre for Eye Care; the All India Eye Bank Association; the Eye Bank Coordination & Research Centre; and its contribution in formation of the Government of India’s National Programme on Control of Blindness. The Committee also trained some 1,300 teachers to detect eye ailments in children and take remedial action.
In 1996, NAB (India) established its Department of Prevention of Blindness which in the course of time was named NAB Kaikhushroo J. Chinoy Centre for Prevention of Blindness & Low Vision.
Considering the fact that eye diseases are more prevalent among economically underprivileged and impoverished communities in India, the Department initiated in Mumbai, projects to detect and treat glaucoma, cataract and conjunctivitis and provide medication and spectacles to children living in the slums and those attending municipal schools; and the disadvantaged adult population. Our trained staff conducts eye examination of the target groups with state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment. Complex cases are referred to ophthalmic specialists for appropriate treatment – including surgery. This service is cost-free and happens in alliance with a vast network of ophthalmologists, hospitals and the Mumbai Municipal Corporation. So far, the Department has screened eyes of 5,04,577 children and 1,03,825 adults.
National-level Sight Restoration Programs
To save eyesight – of people who cannot afford eye-care – through best available eye treatment, the Department initiated: Project “Drishti” in December 2004, in collaboration with Reliance Industries Ltd. The cornea transplant surgeries carried out under this project, have been successful in restoring sight of 14,039 blind individuals. Project “Seeing is Believing” for reversing cataract blindness, supported earlier by Standard Chartered, and later by ABN AMRO Bank; Mr. Maneck Davar of Spenta Multimedia; HE Mr. C. H. Kapadia, the Consul General of Madagascar; and late Parviz & Khorshed K. Mazgaonwalla has helped arrange 17,904 cataract operations.
Services to People with Low Vision
The Centre for Services to People with Low Vision (LV) set up by NAB (India) in the mid-nineties was merged with this Centre, which continues to provide special quality spectacles and low vision kits containing various optical and non-optical LV aids to people diagnosed with low vision.