Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, ISSN - 0973 - 709X

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Dr Archana Dambal

"Journal of clinical and diagnostic research is a welcome change in publishing practices. It aims to reach out to the grass-root level researchers who do not lack in experience, clinical material and ideas, but lack in their knowledge in English language and statistics. The journal achieves it's aim by supporting in these exact domains.
It also gives due credit to all research designs like descriptive and qualitative studies while many journals ignore these important study designs. The rigorous review process does not allow any compromise in quality
It is indexed in many indexing agencies and the articles are available under creative commons licence free of cost
The frequency of publication supports many aspiring authors from India and other countries.
It's wide scope welcomes articles across various specialities in medicine. In an era when there is an unscientific insistence on speciality specific research by regulatory bodies in medical education, JCDR supports collaborative research across specialities. I wish the publisher all the best in his future endeavors."



Dr. Archana Dambal
Department of General Medicine,
Belgaum Institute of Medical Sciences,Belgaum, Karnataka,INDIA,
On 30 Nov 2018




Dr Bhanu K Bhakhri

"The Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) has been in operation since almost a decade. It has contributed a huge number of peer reviewed articles, across a spectrum of medical disciplines, to the medical literature.
Its wide based indexing and open access publications attracts many authors as well as readers
For authors, the manuscripts can be uploaded online through an easily navigable portal, on other hand, reviewers appreciate the systematic handling of all manuscripts. The way JCDR has emerged as an effective medium for publishing wide array of observations in Indian context, I wish the editorial team success in their endeavour"



Dr Bhanu K Bhakhri
Faculty, Pediatric Medicine
Super Speciality Paediatric Hospital and Post Graduate Teaching Institute, Noida
On Sep 2018




Dr Mohan Z Mani

"Thank you very much for having published my article in record time.I would like to compliment you and your entire staff for your promptness, courtesy, and willingness to be customer friendly, which is quite unusual.I was given your reference by a colleague in pathology,and was able to directly phone your editorial office for clarifications.I would particularly like to thank the publication managers and the Assistant Editor who were following up my article. I would also like to thank you for adjusting the money I paid initially into payment for my modified article,and refunding the balance.
I wish all success to your journal and look forward to sending you any suitable similar article in future"



Dr Mohan Z Mani,
Professor & Head,
Department of Dematolgy,
Believers Church Medical College,
Thiruvalla, Kerala
On Sep 2018




Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar

"Over the last few years, we have published our research regularly in Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research. Having published in more than 20 high impact journals over the last five years including several high impact ones and reviewing articles for even more journals across my fields of interest, we value our published work in JCDR for their high standards in publishing scientific articles. The ease of submission, the rapid reviews in under a month, the high quality of their reviewers and keen attention to the final process of proofs and publication, ensure that there are no mistakes in the final article. We have been asked clarifications on several occasions and have been happy to provide them and it exemplifies the commitment to quality of the team at JCDR."



Prof. Somashekhar Nimbalkar
Head, Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad
Chairman, Research Group, Charutar Arogya Mandal, Karamsad
National Joint Coordinator - Advanced IAP NNF NRP Program
Ex-Member, Governing Body, National Neonatology Forum, New Delhi
Ex-President - National Neonatology Forum Gujarat State Chapter
Department of Pediatrics, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat.
On Sep 2018




Dr. Kalyani R

"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research is at present a well-known Indian originated scientific journal which started with a humble beginning. I have been associated with this journal since many years. I appreciate the Editor, Dr. Hemant Jain, for his constant effort in bringing up this journal to the present status right from the scratch. The journal is multidisciplinary. It encourages in publishing the scientific articles from postgraduates and also the beginners who start their career. At the same time the journal also caters for the high quality articles from specialty and super-specialty researchers. Hence it provides a platform for the scientist and researchers to publish. The other aspect of it is, the readers get the information regarding the most recent developments in science which can be used for teaching, research, treating patients and to some extent take preventive measures against certain diseases. The journal is contributing immensely to the society at national and international level."



Dr Kalyani R
Professor and Head
Department of Pathology
Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College
Sri Devaraj Urs Academy of Higher Education and Research , Kolar, Karnataka
On Sep 2018




Dr. Saumya Navit

"As a peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research provides an opportunity to researchers, scientists and budding professionals to explore the developments in the field of medicine and dentistry and their varied specialities, thus extending our view on biological diversities of living species in relation to medicine.
‘Knowledge is treasure of a wise man.’ The free access of this journal provides an immense scope of learning for the both the old and the young in field of medicine and dentistry as well. The multidisciplinary nature of the journal makes it a better platform to absorb all that is being researched and developed. The publication process is systematic and professional. Online submission, publication and peer reviewing makes it a user-friendly journal.
As an experienced dentist and an academician, I proudly recommend this journal to the dental fraternity as a good quality open access platform for rapid communication of their cutting-edge research progress and discovery.
I wish JCDR a great success and I hope that journal will soar higher with the passing time."



Dr Saumya Navit
Professor and Head
Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Saraswati Dental College
Lucknow
On Sep 2018




Dr. Arunava Biswas

"My sincere attachment with JCDR as an author as well as reviewer is a learning experience . Their systematic approach in publication of article in various categories is really praiseworthy.
Their prompt and timely response to review's query and the manner in which they have set the reviewing process helps in extracting the best possible scientific writings for publication.
It's a honour and pride to be a part of the JCDR team. My very best wishes to JCDR and hope it will sparkle up above the sky as a high indexed journal in near future."



Dr. Arunava Biswas
MD, DM (Clinical Pharmacology)
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
Calcutta National Medical College & Hospital , Kolkata




Dr. C.S. Ramesh Babu
" Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a multi-specialty medical and dental journal publishing high quality research articles in almost all branches of medicine. The quality of printing of figures and tables is excellent and comparable to any International journal. An added advantage is nominal publication charges and monthly issue of the journal and more chances of an article being accepted for publication. Moreover being a multi-specialty journal an article concerning a particular specialty has a wider reach of readers of other related specialties also. As an author and reviewer for several years I find this Journal most suitable and highly recommend this Journal."
Best regards,
C.S. Ramesh Babu,
Associate Professor of Anatomy,
Muzaffarnagar Medical College,
Muzaffarnagar.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Arundhathi. S
"Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR) is a reputed peer reviewed journal and is constantly involved in publishing high quality research articles related to medicine. Its been a great pleasure to be associated with this esteemed journal as a reviewer and as an author for a couple of years. The editorial board consists of many dedicated and reputed experts as its members and they are doing an appreciable work in guiding budding researchers. JCDR is doing a commendable job in scientific research by promoting excellent quality research & review articles and case reports & series. The reviewers provide appropriate suggestions that improve the quality of articles. I strongly recommend my fraternity to encourage JCDR by contributing their valuable research work in this widely accepted, user friendly journal. I hope my collaboration with JCDR will continue for a long time".



Dr. Arundhathi. S
MBBS, MD (Pathology),
Sanjay Gandhi institute of trauma and orthopedics,
Bengaluru.
On Aug 2018




Dr. Mamta Gupta,
"It gives me great pleasure to be associated with JCDR, since last 2-3 years. Since then I have authored, co-authored and reviewed about 25 articles in JCDR. I thank JCDR for giving me an opportunity to improve my own skills as an author and a reviewer.
It 's a multispecialty journal, publishing high quality articles. It gives a platform to the authors to publish their research work which can be available for everyone across the globe to read. The best thing about JCDR is that the full articles of all medical specialties are available as pdf/html for reading free of cost or without institutional subscription, which is not there for other journals. For those who have problem in writing manuscript or do statistical work, JCDR comes for their rescue.
The journal has a monthly publication and the articles are published quite fast. In time compared to other journals. The on-line first publication is also a great advantage and facility to review one's own articles before going to print. The response to any query and permission if required, is quite fast; this is quite commendable. I have a very good experience about seeking quick permission for quoting a photograph (Fig.) from a JCDR article for my chapter authored in an E book. I never thought it would be so easy. No hassles.
Reviewing articles is no less a pain staking process and requires in depth perception, knowledge about the topic for review. It requires time and concentration, yet I enjoy doing it. The JCDR website especially for the reviewers is quite user friendly. My suggestions for improving the journal is, more strict review process, so that only high quality articles are published. I find a a good number of articles in Obst. Gynae, hence, a new journal for this specialty titled JCDR-OG can be started. May be a bimonthly or quarterly publication to begin with. Only selected articles should find a place in it.
An yearly reward for the best article authored can also incentivize the authors. Though the process of finding the best article will be not be very easy. I do not know how reviewing process can be improved. If an article is being reviewed by two reviewers, then opinion of one can be communicated to the other or the final opinion of the editor can be communicated to the reviewer if requested for. This will help one’s reviewing skills.
My best wishes to Dr. Hemant Jain and all the editorial staff of JCDR for their untiring efforts to bring out this journal. I strongly recommend medical fraternity to publish their valuable research work in this esteemed journal, JCDR".



Dr. Mamta Gupta
Consultant
(Ex HOD Obs &Gynae, Hindu Rao Hospital and associated NDMC Medical College, Delhi)
Aug 2018




Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey

"I wish to thank Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), for asking me to write up few words.
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium i e; into the words and sentences on paper. Quality medical manuscript writing in particular, demands not only a high-quality research, but also requires accurate and concise communication of findings and conclusions, with adherence to particular journal guidelines. In medical field whether working in teaching, private, or in corporate institution, everyone wants to excel in his / her own field and get recognised by making manuscripts publication.


Authors are the souls of any journal, and deserve much respect. To publish a journal manuscripts are needed from authors. Authors have a great responsibility for producing facts of their work in terms of number and results truthfully and an individual honesty is expected from authors in this regards. Both ways its true "No authors-No manuscripts-No journals" and "No journals–No manuscripts–No authors". Reviewing a manuscript is also a very responsible and important task of any peer-reviewed journal and to be taken seriously. It needs knowledge on the subject, sincerity, honesty and determination. Although the process of reviewing a manuscript is a time consuming task butit is expected to give one's best remarks within the time frame of the journal.
Salient features of the JCDR: It is a biomedical, multidisciplinary (including all medical and dental specialities), e-journal, with wide scope and extensive author support. At the same time, a free text of manuscript is available in HTML and PDF format. There is fast growing authorship and readership with JCDR as this can be judged by the number of articles published in it i e; in Feb 2007 of its first issue, it contained 5 articles only, and now in its recent volume published in April 2011, it contained 67 manuscripts. This e-journal is fulfilling the commitments and objectives sincerely, (as stated by Editor-in-chief in his preface to first edition) i e; to encourage physicians through the internet, especially from the developing countries who witness a spectrum of disease and acquire a wealth of knowledge to publish their experiences to benefit the medical community in patients care. I also feel that many of us have work of substance, newer ideas, adequate clinical materials but poor in medical writing and hesitation to submit the work and need help. JCDR provides authors help in this regards.
Timely publication of journal: Publication of manuscripts and bringing out the issue in time is one of the positive aspects of JCDR and is possible with strong support team in terms of peer reviewers, proof reading, language check, computer operators, etc. This is one of the great reasons for authors to submit their work with JCDR. Another best part of JCDR is "Online first Publications" facilities available for the authors. This facility not only provides the prompt publications of the manuscripts but at the same time also early availability of the manuscripts for the readers.
Indexation and online availability: Indexation transforms the journal in some sense from its local ownership to the worldwide professional community and to the public.JCDR is indexed with Embase & EMbiology, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus, Chemical Abstracts Service, Journal seek Database, Indian Science Abstracts, to name few of them. Manuscriptspublished in JCDR are available on major search engines ie; google, yahoo, msn.
In the era of fast growing newer technologies, and in computer and internet friendly environment the manuscripts preparation, submission, review, revision, etc and all can be done and checked with a click from all corer of the world, at any time. Of course there is always a scope for improvement in every field and none is perfect. To progress, one needs to identify the areas of one's weakness and to strengthen them.
It is well said that "happy beginning is half done" and it fits perfectly with JCDR. It has grown considerably and I feel it has already grown up from its infancy to adolescence, achieving the status of standard online e-journal form Indian continent since its inception in Feb 2007. This had been made possible due to the efforts and the hard work put in it. The way the JCDR is improving with every new volume, with good quality original manuscripts, makes it a quality journal for readers. I must thank and congratulate Dr Hemant Jain, Editor-in-Chief JCDR and his team for their sincere efforts, dedication, and determination for making JCDR a fast growing journal.
Every one of us: authors, reviewers, editors, and publisher are responsible for enhancing the stature of the journal. I wish for a great success for JCDR."



Thanking you
With sincere regards
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Ghritlaharey, M.S., M. Ch., FAIS
Associate Professor,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Gandhi Medical College & Associated
Kamla Nehru & Hamidia Hospitals Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 462 001 (India)
E-mail: drrajendrak1@rediffmail.com
On May 11,2011




Dr. Shankar P.R.

"On looking back through my Gmail archives after being requested by the journal to write a short editorial about my experiences of publishing with the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research (JCDR), I came across an e-mail from Dr. Hemant Jain, Editor, in March 2007, which introduced the new electronic journal. The main features of the journal which were outlined in the e-mail were extensive author support, cash rewards, the peer review process, and other salient features of the journal.
Over a span of over four years, we (I and my colleagues) have published around 25 articles in the journal. In this editorial, I plan to briefly discuss my experiences of publishing with JCDR and the strengths of the journal and to finally address the areas for improvement.
My experiences of publishing with JCDR: Overall, my experiences of publishing withJCDR have been positive. The best point about the journal is that it responds to queries from the author. This may seem to be simple and not too much to ask for, but unfortunately, many journals in the subcontinent and from many developing countries do not respond or they respond with a long delay to the queries from the authors 1. The reasons could be many, including lack of optimal secretarial and other support. Another problem with many journals is the slowness of the review process. Editorial processing and peer review can take anywhere between a year to two years with some journals. Also, some journals do not keep the contributors informed about the progress of the review process. Due to the long review process, the articles can lose their relevance and topicality. A major benefit with JCDR is the timeliness and promptness of its response. In Dr Jain's e-mail which was sent to me in 2007, before the introduction of the Pre-publishing system, he had stated that he had received my submission and that he would get back to me within seven days and he did!
Most of the manuscripts are published within 3 to 4 months of their submission if they are found to be suitable after the review process. JCDR is published bimonthly and the accepted articles were usually published in the next issue. Recently, due to the increased volume of the submissions, the review process has become slower and it ?? Section can take from 4 to 6 months for the articles to be reviewed. The journal has an extensive author support system and it has recently introduced a paid expedited review process. The journal also mentions the average time for processing the manuscript under different submission systems - regular submission and expedited review.
Strengths of the journal: The journal has an online first facility in which the accepted manuscripts may be published on the website before being included in a regular issue of the journal. This cuts down the time between their acceptance and the publication. The journal is indexed in many databases, though not in PubMed. The editorial board should now take steps to index the journal in PubMed. The journal has a system of notifying readers through e-mail when a new issue is released. Also, the articles are available in both the HTML and the PDF formats. I especially like the new and colorful page format of the journal. Also, the access statistics of the articles are available. The prepublication and the manuscript tracking system are also helpful for the authors.
Areas for improvement: In certain cases, I felt that the peer review process of the manuscripts was not up to international standards and that it should be strengthened. Also, the number of manuscripts in an issue is high and it may be difficult for readers to go through all of them. The journal can consider tightening of the peer review process and increasing the quality standards for the acceptance of the manuscripts. I faced occasional problems with the online manuscript submission (Pre-publishing) system, which have to be addressed.
Overall, the publishing process with JCDR has been smooth, quick and relatively hassle free and I can recommend other authors to consider the journal as an outlet for their work."



Dr. P. Ravi Shankar
KIST Medical College, P.O. Box 14142, Kathmandu, Nepal.
E-mail: ravi.dr.shankar@gmail.com
On April 2011

Important Notice

Original article / research
Year : 2011 | Month : December | Volume : 5 | Issue : 8 | Page : 1624 - 1626

The Prevalence of the Leading Causes of Certification for Blindness and Partial Sight in the Hassan District of Karnataka, India

Dadapeer Kareemsab, Niranjan Mambally Rachaiah, Balasubramanya

Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan - 573201, Karnataka, India.

Correspondence Address :
Niranjan Mambally Rachaiah
Assistant Professor of Medicine,
Door No 61, 6th floor, Doctors staff quarters,
Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences,
Hassan 573201, Karnataka, India.
Phone: 09448672501
E-mail: drniranjanmr@yahoo.co.in

Abstract

Context: The prevention of visual impairment is an international priority which was agreed upon at the World Health Assembly of 2002. Yet, countries like India lack contemporary data on the prevalence and the causes from which the priorities for its prevention, treatment and management can be identified.

Aims: To identify the leading causes of visual disability among certified, visually disabled individuals in the Hassan District in Karnataka, India.

Settings and Design: A prospective cross-sectional study. Methods and Material: The cases were selected on the basis of a simple random sampling method.

Statistical analysis: Descriptive analysis was done and the results were expressed in terms of mean, median and proportions.

Results: In our study, the leading causes of certification for blindness and partial sight were congenital anomalies, refractive errors and retinitis pigmentosa.

Conclusion: There will be a variation in the prevalence of leading causes of certification for blindness and partial sight, from one geographical area to another. If the accurate cause is identified, the necessary preventive measures can be taken.

Keywords

Eye, Vision, Certification

How to cite this article :

Dadapeer Kareemsab, Niranjan Mambally Rachaiah, Balasubramanya. THE PREVALENCE OF THE LEADING CAUSES OF CERTIFICATION FOR BLINDNESS AND PARTIAL SIGHT IN THE HASSAN DISTRICT OF KARNATAKA, INDIA. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research [serial online] 2011 December [cited: 2019 Feb 22 ]; 5:1624-1626. Available from
http://jcdr.net/back_issues.asp?issn=0973-709x&year=2011&month=December&volume=5&issue=8&page=1624-1626&id=1727

Introduction
The certification for blindness or partial sight is the process by which social services for the visually disabled are coordinated. The registration as blind or partially sighted in India is voluntary and it is performed by certification by a duly constituted board that includes an ophthalmologist, a physician and the chairman of the Medical Board. Defining disability is difficult to accommodate the expectations of all the disabled groups. According to a guideline of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the Government of India, the minimum degree of disability should be 40% for an individual to be eligible for any concessions or benefit (1). The 58th round data from the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) revealed that, of all the disabled individuals in India, 10.88% were blind and that 4.39% had low vision (2). As per the Census of India, 2001, the prevalence of the totally blind persons was found to be 156 per lakh population and the prevalence of low vision was found to be 61 per lakh population. The prevention of visual impairment is an international priority, and its planning requires contemporary data regarding its incidence and causes, based on which its priorities can be identified. However, under-registration of the blind is a global problem (3),(4). Very meagre data is available on this from the state of Karnataka. The present study was designed to conduct an analysis of disabled individuals who belonged to the Hassan District in Karnataka, India, who were certified as visually disabled by the duly constituted medical boards. The district predominantly has a rural population, including people who live in remote forest areas.

Material and Methods

Patients with visual disability of 40% or above were included in this study. A written consent and ethical committee clearance were obtained from all the individuals who were included in the study group. The purposive sampling method was used. The percentage of disability was calculated, based on the guidelines for the evaluation of various disabilities and the procedure for certification (Table/Fig 1) (1). There is a designated centre at Sri Chamarajendra Hospital which is attached to the Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hassan (Karnataka) for the certification of the visual impairment. The patient data were collected from individuals who attended the disability clinic at our centre. All the certificates which were completed during the period from February 2009 to August 2009 were analyzed. During this period, 272 people were certified. The main cause of the visual loss was ascertained.

The patients who attended the disability clinic were examined in the out patients department. The diagnosis was based on the medical history and the clinical examination and special investigations such as tonometry, fundus photography, ultrasound examination and automated perimetry were done as and when they were necessary.

Descriptive analysis was done by using the SPSS +17.0 computer package for statistics. The variables of interest in our study were age, gender, percentage of disability and the causative factor of the disabled individual. The results were expressed in terms of mean, median and proportion.

Results

The study was conducted on 272 individuals. Of these individuals, 52.95% (144) were males and 47.05% (128) were females, the M:F ratio being 1.12:1. Of the total population which was studied, 55.15% were 100% visually disabled and only 20.95% had 40% visual disability (Table/Fig 2).

A majority, 107 (38.60%) individuals were in the age group of 40 to 65 years and only 27 (9.92%) were above 65 years of age (Table/Fig 3). The mean age was 52.18 years and median age was 34 years.

A majority, 151 (55.53%) were unemployed, 72 (26.47%) were involved in agricultural work, 30 (11.02%) were studying in a blind school and 19 (6.98%) were self employed.

Among the visually disabled, congenital anomalies accounted for microcornea, microophthalmos, anophthalmos and coloboma of the eye (22.05%), refractive errors (19.85%), retinitis pigmentosa (18.01%), others [(corneal dystrophy, corneal degeneration, anterior staphyloma, retinal dystrophy, central choroiditis, retinal detachment) (11.02%)], optic atrophy (6.98%), corneal opacity (5.51%), lens [(congenital cataract and complicated cataract) (5.14%)], [age related macular degeneration (ARMD) (5.14%)], glaucoma (4.04%), uveitis (1.10%) and diabetic retinopathy (1.10%) (Table/Fig 4). The power of the study was 80% (1-β error).

Discussion

Many ocular diseases can cause visual system damage and functional loss, which can lead to blindness and low vision. This will not only affect the patients’ daily life and working abilities, but will also have an adverse consequence on the society and the economy development. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there were approximately 161 million visually impaired people all over the world, among whom 37 million were blind. Over 90% of the blind people lived in the developing countries (5).

Blindness and vision impairment remain major public health problems in India, that need to be addressed (6). The presence of a large number of blind people in India has tremendous economic implications. It has been estimated that the economic burden of blindness in India is approximately equivalent to 73% of the annual expenditure which has been set aside by the government for the entire health care sector in a year (7). It is approximately US $4.4 billion per year (8),(9),(10),(11). Attempts to address the burden of blindness in India and its economic implications have focused on reducing the burden of curable blindness in India, primarily through a cataractcentered policy which is aimed at increasing the number of cataract surgeries (12), (13). Recent studies have however reported on the inadequate quality of cataract surgery from various parts of India, with up to 50% of the cataract operated persons remaining blind even after surgery. This has led to an additional focus on improving quality of care (14),(15),(16).

It was evident from our study that the number of males who attended the medical board to obtain the disability certification was higher than that of the females. This was because of the existing certification system which was institution-based and hence a problem of access for the females could occur due to the social and economic obstacles.

In our study, the patients in the age group of 40-65 years and of 14-40 years were significantly large in numbers as compared to the elderly age group. This suggests that the driving force behind attending the board for the disability certification was more among the working age group. This was probably due to the presence of certain benefits which were associated with the disability certification such as employment, education and conveyance, which were more likely to serve the purpose of young individuals than the elderly. Similar observations were made in Bunce et al (1998) study, where non-certification was found to be more common in patients of 65 years or more than those under 65 years, with a trend of increasing odds with increasing age (3). In our study, the patients with 100% disability formed a majority group as compared to the patients with a disability of the lower grades. A similar finding was noted by Bunce et al. (1998) in their study, where a partially sighted ophthalmic outpatient was estimated to be three times more likely to be non-certified than a blind patient with a similar diagnosis (3).

Congenital and developmental anomalies accounted for 22.05% of all the disabilities and this was the leading cause in our study. This finding could be correlated with the findings of Sambuddha Ghosh et al’s (2008) study , in which they accounted for 38.71% of all the disabilities (17). This can be explained by factors such as consanguinity and the congenital rubella syndrome which are associated with such developmental disorders in India (18),(19).

The congenital abnormalities worldwide (microphthalmos, anophthalmos and coloboma) accounted for severe visual impairment and blindness in 18% and 25.8% of the blind school children in south and north India, respectively (20),(21).

As compared to the findings of the study of Bunce C and Wormald R (2006), the leading causes of certification for blindness and partial sight in England and Wales were ARMD (57.2 %), glaucoma (10.9 %), diabetic retinopathy (5.9 %), optic atrophy (3.1 %) and hereditary retinal disorders (2.8 %).

In Avisar R, et al (2006) study, the prevalence, incidence rates and the causes of blindness in Israel were ARMD (28%), diabetic retinopathy (14.4%), glaucoma (11.8%), myopic maculopathy (7.4%), optic atrophy (6.5%), cataract (6.5%), and other diagnosis (25.4%).

Similar results as inour study were observed in another Indian study by Ghosh S et al (2008), in which congenital and developmental anomalies were present in as high as 38.71% of the eyes (17).

This analysis strongly suggests that the three main causes of sight loss in England – Wales and Israel are ARMD, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. In our study, congenital anomalies, refractive errors and retinitis pigmentosa were the main causes of sight loss. Treatment for the first three leading causes of visual impairment existed in two other western studies, whereas in our study, only preventive measures could be taken, without any definitive treatment with good visual prognosis. Hence, we have to concentrate on genetic counseling and discourage consanguineous marriages to prevent congenital anomalies and retinitis pigmentosa. School eye screening is necessary to identify and treat refractive errors.

Conclusion

There will be a variation in the prevalence of leading causes of certification for blindness and partial sight, from one geographical area to an another. If the accurate cause is identified, then the necessary preventive measures can be taken.

References

1.
Guidelines for the evaluation of various disabilities and procedures for certification. The Gazette of India extraordinary Part 1; Section 1: No 154.
2.
National Sample Survey Organization, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, Round Number 37th in 1981, 47th in 1991 and 58th in 2002.
3.
Bunce C, Evans J, Fraser S, Wormald R. The BD8 certification of visually impaired people. Br J Ophthalmol 1998;82 (1):72-76.
4.
Barry RJ, Murray PI. Unregistered visual impairment: Is registration a failing system? Br J Ophthalmol 2005;89 (8):995-98.
5.
Resnikoff S, Pascolini D, Etya’ale D, Kocur I, Pararajasegaram R, Pokharel GP, et al. Global data on visual impairment in the year 2002. Bull World Health Organ 2004; 82: 844-51.
6.
Thulasiraj RD, Nirmalan PK, Ramakrishnan R, Krishnadas R, Manimekalai TK, Baburajan NP, et al. Blindness and vision impairment in a rural south Indian population: the Aravind Comprehensive Eye Survey. Ophthalmology. 2003 Aug;110(8):1491-98.
7.
Katti SM. Global health situation. Journal of Association of Physicians India 1997;45:141-44
8.
Thylefors B, Negrel AD, Pararajasegaram R, Dadzie KY. Global data on blindness. Bulletin of the World Health Organization.1995; 73:115-21.
9.
Mohan M. Survey of blindness-India (1986-1989), summary results. Programme for the Control of Blindness, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, 1992.
10.
Shamanna BR, Dandona L, Rao GN. Economic burden of blindness in India. Indian J Ophthalmol 1998;46:169-72.
11.
Dandona L, Dandona R, Srinivas M, Giridhar P, Vilas K, Prasad MN, et al. Blindness in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2001;42:908-16.
12.
Jose R, Bachani D. World Bank assisted cataract blindness control project. Indian J Ophthalmol 1995;43:35-43.
13.
Dandona L, Dandona R, Naduvilath TJ, McCarty CA, Nanda A, Srinivas M, et al. Is the current eye-care-policy focus on cataract almost exclusively adequate to deal with blindness in India? Lancet 1998;351:1312-16.
14.
Dandona L, Dandona R, Naduvilath TJ, McCarty CA, Mandal P, Srinivas M, et al. Population-based assessment of the outcomes of cataract surgery in an urban population in southern India. Am J Ophthalmol 1999;127:650-58.
15.
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