Manipur Health Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan on Thursday informed that the state's Eye Bank will be fully operational by the end of this month.
"The license for the eye bank and corneal transplantation has been approved. The bank will be up and running before the end of October," he said.
He was speaking at the 24th World Sight Day observation on the theme 'Love your eyes at work' held at Classic Grande, Imphal. The observance was organised by National Programme for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment, National Health Mission Manipur.
The health minister further pointed out that the cases of Glaucoma in Manipur have been steadily rising, becoming one of the major causes for blindness.
"Glaucoma cases have jumped to 5.08 percent which is an alarming figure compared to other forms of eye illnesses which are well below critical levels," he said.
As such, he emphasised the need for a special programme to survey and detect the disease amongst people and pointed out that the state government would also look into the matter.
He highlighted that around 4,186 cataract surgeries were performed starting from 2022 with the aid of NGOs and hospitals under the 'Chief Minister Mit Ki Layeng' which was started in 2022.
"Even during the ongoing turmoil around 2,596 surgeries were performed which is a huge achievement. The Opthalmic Bus under the scheme for eye treatment in far flung areas of the state has also proven useful," he said.
He stated that eye illness was becoming rampant in Manipur primarily due to the use of modern electronic gadgets.
This addiction to digital screens is becoming a problem, he added.
On the other hand, the minister maintained that the selling of prescription glasses on the road side was highly hazardous to eye health.
"The exposure of the glasses to dust and sunlight can prove fatal to eye health and as such a proper measure needs to be enacted to eradicate this problem," he said.
He further stated that the impact of every observance related to health and physical wellness should be felt at the grassroot level of the society.
During the observance, several prescription glasses were also distributed to cataract patients who had received benefits under the CMML.
Director of Directorate of Health Services Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang, State Mission director of NHM Manipur Dr Somorjit Ningombam and former director of Manipur Health Services Y Yaima among others were present at the observance.