Gathering Efforts for the Establishment of China's New National Plan in Blindness Prevention and Treatment


               In order to know the ophthalmic resources in our country as well as make the suitable long-term plan in blindness prevention and treatment, NIHA and ORBIS International work together to carry out The Survey of National Eye Care Capacity and Resource and the Prevalence of Eye Disease project. Professor Zhao Jialiang, one of the leading experts, from Peking Union Medical College Hospital of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences gave an introduction about the project implement and new plan in blindness prevention and treatment.


Prof. Zhao: This epidemiological survey planed two years ago while the last survey began in 2006. So far we have made great advancement in blindness prevention and treatment work. While the occurrence of eye disease and its development has changed a lot. What we can do is to grasp these changes and collect new proofs to persuade the government and society to carry out the prevention of blindness and visual impairment work. We may look for the help of non-governmental organization to support us financially. I believe that the result of this survey will offer help for establishment of our next plan in blindness prevention and treatment, thus promoting the development of the cause in the whole country.

              Finishing the blindness-prevention work sound and efficiently

Because of the wide range of sampling survey, the investigators must have a scientific and rigorous working attitude, and work seriously in order to get the useful data which can be used in the research work after many times of checking and analysis when writing summary reports and academic papers. The purpose of the survey is to know the prevalence and incidence of blindness and visual impairment and the cause of blindness, which is the key point of understanding the development trend of blindness and visual impairment in our country.

The number of age-related people with blindness and visual impairment has been increasing because of the growth of the population and aging problems. For example, if our average life span is increased for 5 years during which eye disease will obviously increase. Besides, some other factors can reduce the number of blindness with more commitment and efforts into blindness prevention. As a result, after mastering the trend of blindness and visual impairment, we can make clear of the focus of blindness prevention work with these data, make a plan and strategy for blindness prevention and treatment work suitable to our country, and persuade the society for more investment.

Mastering the current situation in ophthalmic medical resources.

                  Currently there are 3 problems existing in our ophthalmic human resources: First, we are not clear about our ophthalmic human resources. Second, the standard for human resources is different. For example, oculists in America and other developed countries cannot work as eye doctors until they pass the examinations after 4-year residency training when graduated from medical college. While our medical graduates are directly sent to the hospital to start the clinic work in department of ophthalmology as soon as they graduated from the college. Third, most of our oculists are postgraduates separately focusing on clinic and research work. The researching postgraduates can not undertake the clinic work because lacking of enough clinical knowledge and training. However, they still become oculists after graduation because lacking of enough understanding.

              The survey on ophthalmic human resources in 2004 showed that there were over 4300 ophthalmic institutions and many non-governmental hospitals. After completing this survey, it can help us know whether these ophthalmic institutions are arranged reasonably. On the basis of these data, we can provide suggestions to the government on how to reasonably arrange and develop our ophthalmic institutions for the needs of the people. Furthermore, we can also be sure of the present number of the oculists who can carry out cataract operation which is important to strengthen the oculists’ training and improve the cataract surgical rate.