ANI Photo | Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launches Asha Kirana scheme

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here on Sunday launched the ‘Asha Kirana – Eye Care at Your Doorstep’ scheme to provide eye care accessibility for families across Karnataka free of cost.
Under the Asha Kirana program, comprehensive eye care services, including doorstep eye
check-ups, diagnosis, and treatment including distribution of spectacles, and cataracts
surgeries will be provided to families free of cost.
According to the state’s Health and Family Welfare Department, spectacle dispensing centers have been established in all Primary Health Centers (PHCs) to ensure that those in need receive the necessary support and care to improve their vision and quality of life.
With the objective of reducing the prevalence of avoidable blindness, the Asha Kirana
program has already been implemented successfully in 8 districts across two phases, said authorities.
The first phase covered Chikkaballapur, Kalaburagi, Haveri, and Chamarajanagar, while the second phase includes Chitradurga, Mandya, Raichur, and Uttara Kannada
According to the officials, these initiatives have yielded promising results, with millions of individuals benefiting from primary and secondary screenings and cataract surgeries. According to the state government, the Asha Kirana campaign represents a significant stride towards addressing the gap in eye health services availability.
Health personnel and ASHA workers conduct primary eye check-ups for individuals of all age groups directly at their homes. Each household will be marked with a sticker having ‘green,’ ‘red,’ or ‘yellow’ slots based on the presence of eye-related issues, ensuring targeted outreach and effective service delivery.
In the first phase of 4 districts, a total of 5,659,036 people underwent primary screening (averaging 84%), of whom 828,784 people underwent further screening. Out of these, 245,587 beneficiaries have been identified for the distribution of spectacles, and 39,336 people have undergone cataract surgery.
In the second phase 4 districts, a total of 5,277,235 people underwent primary screening (averaging 71%), out of which 943,398 people were diagnosed with eye-related problems. Further treatment, including the distribution of spectacles and surgery, will be provided.
Moving forward, the Asha Kirana program will expand its reach to additional districts in subsequent phases. Ramanagara, Yadgir, Kodagu, and Gadag are earmarked for the next phase (2024-25), followed by Chikkamagaluru, Bidar, Kolar, and Bagalkote in 2025-26. This phased approach ensures that eye care services are extended comprehensively across the state.
Karnataka has over 6.5 Crore population and is one of the well-performing states with respect to eye care. These mega eye camps will amplify the coverage of beneficiaries,
prevent early complications and thereby improve the quality of life, said authorities

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