Advanced Strategies in the National Programme for Control of Blindness

The National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) was initiated in 1976 under the auspices of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India. Its primary objective was to significantly reduce the incidence of preventable blindness in the country. Through decades of dedicated efforts, NPCB aims to lower the prevalence of blindness to a mere 0.3% by 2020, from an initial figure of 1.4%. This article provides a detailed exploration of the various strategies and initiatives deployed by NPCB to combat blindness effectively across India.

Comprehensive Eye Care Initiatives

Implementation of Targeted Health Initiatives

NPCB has executed numerous health initiatives across different Five Year Plans, focusing on the most common causes of blindness, including:

  • Cataract: Responsible for 62.6% of blindness cases, NPCB has enhanced cataract surgery techniques and accessibility.
  • Refractive Errors: Making up 19.70% of cases, efforts have been made to improve the availability of corrective measures.
  • Other Causes: Including corneal blindness, glaucoma, and complications post-surgery, each cause has seen targeted interventions.

Development and Strengthening of Infrastructure

Significant investments have been made to strengthen and upgrade Regional Institutes of Ophthalmology (RIOs) and other healthcare facilities. These institutions are envisioned to become centers of excellence in various ophthalmology sub-specialties. Additionally, the expansion of infrastructure at district levels ensures high-quality, comprehensive eye care is accessible nationwide.

Enhancing Community Involvement and Awareness

Community Outreach and Education

NPCB places a strong emphasis on community awareness and education about eye health. Regular campaigns and programs aim to inform the public about the importance of regular eye check-ups and preventive measures against common eye ailments.

Voluntary Participation and Eye Donation

Collaboration with voluntary organizations and private practitioners has been crucial. NPCB promotes eye donation vigorously, educating the public on the process and benefits of donating eyes, which can give sight to two individuals per donor.

Research and Development

Prioritizing Research for Prevention

Research on blindness prevention and cure is a critical component of NPCB. By funding and supporting studies focused on the epidemiology of blindness and the development of new treatment methods, NPCB fosters innovation in ophthalmology.

Achievements and Impact

Reduction in Blindness Prevalence

From the initial surveys in 2001-02 estimating a blindness prevalence of 1.1%, NPCB’s interventions have reduced it to 1% by 2006-07. This demonstrates a significant impact and progression towards the goal of a 0.3% prevalence by 2020.

Success Stories

Several districts have reported much lower rates of blindness due to the effective implementation of NPCB strategies. The integration of advanced medical technology and improved surgical techniques has also led to a decrease in surgical complications and other preventable causes of blindness.


The National Programme for Control of Blindness represents a robust approach to eliminating avoidable blindness in India by 2020. Through a combination of advanced medical interventions, community engagement, and significant research initiatives, NPCB continues to make strides towards achieving its vision.

Ensuring ongoing support and innovation in eye health care will be crucial for NPCB’s success in the coming years. The continued reduction in blindness prevalence highlights the effectiveness of the comprehensive strategies employed by NPCB, showcasing a promising future for eye health in India.

Leave a Comment