The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued an advisory to the Centre, states and Union Territory (UT) administrations to prevent and minimise the impact of ocular trauma and to ensure appropriate standardised treatment and rehabilitation of victims of ocular trauma, which causes nearly five per cent of irreversible or permanent blindness.
The Commission has observed that major contributors of eye injury are road accidents (34 per cent), sports (29 per cent) and occupation (21 per cent).
The Commission, among several important recommendations, has asked the Centre, states and UT administrations particularly to identify the industries having high potential of ocular trauma and other industrial accidents and make it mandatory for owners of all such industries employing minimum 50 workers to purchase personal accident cover of minimum Rs 15 lakh for each worker engaged by them.
The establishment of a special fund has also been recommended to provide financial assistance to victims of ocular trauma.
The NHRC advisory has focused on five key areas for action by the Centre, states and UT administrations which include creation of a database on ocular trauma, prevention and minimisation of ocular trauma, treatment of ocular trauma, development of integrated ophthalmic trauma units and rehabilitation of victims of ocular trauma.
Some important recommendations made by NHRC include establishment of an online (web-based) portal or make provision in any existing portal, to record details of each case of ocular trauma.
Make every single case of ocular trauma notifiable across the country to make it mandatory for each hospital or medical practitioner to upload details of each case of ocular trauma dealt by them and to involve Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) workers and school teachers to identify the victims of ocular trauma.
The NHRC has also recommended to create public awareness on major causes of ocular trauma and the care and precautions to be taken to address these causes and to identify the firecrackers which have potential to cause eye trauma and impose a ban on use of such firecrackers.