National Programme for Prevention and Control of Blindness (NPCB)


The Government of India, in order to reduce the prevalence of preventable blindness from 1.4% to 0.3% among population, launched the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) in the year 1976, as a 100% centrally sponsored programme. The implementation of the said programme was subsequently decentralized in 1994-95 with formation of District Blindness Control Society in each District of the State. In Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu State Blindness Control Society (TNSBCS) was formed on 01.04.1996 as a separate entity to give thrust to the goal by planning, execution and monitoring at the District Level.

The Tamil Nadu State Blindness Control Society is a registered body and headed by a senior ophthalmologist as Project Director who is also the State Programme Officer, NPCB. In the Districts a similar District Blindness Control Society (DBCS)is established, where the District Collector is the Chair person and the programme is executed by the District programme Manager (DPM), a Senior Ophthalmologist from the District Head Quarters Hospital or Government Medical College Hospital, as the case may be. The Tamil Nadu State Blindness Control Society has been brought under the over-all control of the Mission Diretor, State Health Society since 01.04.2007 and is a part of Non-Communicable Diseases programme.

The Cataract being the main reason for avoidable blindness, accounts for more than 64% of blindness. Under NPCB, the cataract operations are done at free of cost both in Government hospitals and NGO Hospitals and Private Hospitals. A Grant-In-Aid of Rs. 2,000/- (Rs.Two Thousand Only) per operation is paid to the NGOs who have made MoU with the DBCS.

The Development of strong eye-care facility supported by well-trained doctors is the necessity to fight avoidable blindness. Frequent training to ophthalmic Surgeon in various sub-specialities is also given under the scheme at various centres well established both in Government and NGO sectors using latest techniques.

Achievements in the year 2019-20

  1. There are 68 NGOs and 89 Government Hospitals in 38 districts of our state. 2,62,903 persons were operated for cataract under NPCB from April 2019 to March 2020.
  2. Children studying at 14,873 schools were screened for refractive errors and 1,90,817 free spectacles was issued to them from April 2019 to March 2020.
  3. An online eye donor registry with registration facility under URL is maintained by us. 17 Eye Banks are functioning in our state. 8,824 Eye balls were collected from April 2019 to March 2020.
  4. A Pilot project under assistance of Queen Elizabeth Trust and Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad to screen for Diabetic Retinopathy eye ailment has been initiated at the CHC level in Thirunelveli District and also extended to 3 more Districts Vellore, Cuddalore and Salem.
  5. Screening all low birth weight and preterm babies for Retinopathy of Prematurity is performed in 74 Special New born Care Units. For this a Tele ROP screening with RETCAM is started throughout the state @ Rs 126 Lakh.
  6. During the last 3 years Rs. 7 Crore worth ophthalmic equipment was supplied to Govt. Facilities at all levels.
  7. Comprehensive Hi-tech computerised eye clinic is to be started in all medical colleges and District Head Quarters Hospital (54 Places) @ Rs. 357.85 Lakh.
  8. New Eye Operation Theatre and Post-operative ward is constructed at 5 District Hospital and Sub District Hospital namely Tiruppur, Palani, Tiruchendur, Tindivanam and Cuddalore.
  9. A centre for excellence is constructed at Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Chennai for Rs 65.60 Crore and another Regional Eye Care Centre at Raja Mirazdar Hospital Thanjavur for Rs 16.47 Crore.
  10. Fifteen ophthalmic surgeons underwent in-service training in ophthalmic sub specialities from our state under financial assistance of NPCB. Also training programme was conducted in “Retinopathy of Prematurity”, Sterilization of eye operation theatres, recent ophthalmic investigations, tele-ophthalmology and fundus photography for ophthalmic surgeons and PMOAs.