High cost of artificial lens hits cataract patients
Most cataract patients are virtually blind as they cannot afford the
artificial lens (intra-occular) implanted in the eye after surgery, Co-ordinator
Vision 2020 Secretariat, Ministry of Health Dr Asela Abeydeera told the
He said the imported lens was expensive and beyond the reach of many
needy patients who were unable to undergo surgery. "They remain blind
till they die and are a burden to their carers and society, whereas with
surgery their sight could have been restored immediately", he said.
Cataract surgery is performed free in all state hospitals but the
lens had to be purchased. "The costs vary from Rs 25,000 to over Rs
35,000 or more if purchased privately. However, Vision 2020 can buy the
same lens at Rs 3,500 each. We appeal to the private sector and the
public to help a needy blind person undergo cataract surgery by donating
Rs 3,500. All donations will be acknowledged", Director General Health
Services, Dr P.G. Maheepala told a discussion on Thursday on preventing
avoidable blindness at the Health Education Bureau.