Eye Hospitals in Assam
Assam is one of the seven sisters (north-eastern states) of India with a population of 26,655,528 (2001-census). It has male population of 13,777,037 and female population of 12,878,491 (2001-census). The literacy rate of Assam is 71.28% for male and 54.61% for female. As per 2001 census, the sex ratio of the state was 935 females per 1000 males. Some of the health indicator ratios for infant mortality are:
- Crude Birth Rate (2003-census)-26.3 per thousand population
- Crude Death Rate (2003-census)-9.1 per thousand population
- Neonatal Mortality Rate (1999- census)-53 per thousand live births
- Infant Mortality Rate (2003-census)-67 per thousand live births
- Post-Natal Mortality Rate-(1999-census)-23 per thousand live births
- Pre-Natal Mortality Rate (1999-census)-52 per thousand live births
- Child Mortality Rate (1999-census)-24 per thousand live births
- Still Birth Rate (1999-census)-15 per thousand live births
According to 1998-2002 survey Life Expectancy at Birth in the state for male is 57.7 years whereas for female is 58.1 years. There are 22 district hospitals, around 108 CHCs, 844 PHCs and 4592 sub-centres for providing health care facilities in the state. However, there is a shortage of 98 CHCs and 471 sub-centres in the state according to the secondary data collected from census of India, National Family Health survey and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Overall, the health related issues are being looked after by the Health and Family Welfare Department., Assam which is under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Despite the efforts of the Central and State Government, the health sector in Assam is still under-developed. The main reasons for this are poor literacy rate, poverty, lack of sanitation facilities, non- availability of sufficient potable water, over population per square km area and lack of infrastructure. In rural areas of Assam the major problem is unwillingness of doctors to stay in rural areas. The state is still under the fear of diseases like malaria, cancer and tuberculosis. The health infrastructure needs a lot more improvement so that the health care services can be utilized by the common people. Though diseases like AIDS and leprosy have been successfully controlled and prevented, yet the overall picture of health care in the state is not encouraging. There is a great need to implement the national programs launched for child health, maternal and reproductive health, family planning and immunisation, etc.
According to a survey conducted by the WHO (2003-2005: Assam) 40% people of Assam have some form of visual impairment. Though there are many good eye care hospitals in some of the districts of the state but for a person living in a village with meagre means, it becomes difficult to go to the nearby city and have even a pair of glasses. So there is a need for primary eye care facility in the rural area of the state.