New Delhi, 14th March, 2024: Matanand Foundation, in collaboration with ENTOD Pharmaceuticals, has announced the launch of the Glaucoma Awareness Campaign ‘#GlaucomaMuktBharat,’ which is running from March 10th to March 16th, 2024 across different parts of India. This initiative aligns with ‘World Glaucoma Week’ and aims to raise awareness about glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease that affects millions across the country and worldwide.

Glaucoma, often referred to as the “silent thief of sight,” poses a significant threat to vision health, with its gradual progression leading to irreversible blindness if left untreated. With an estimated 12 million individuals affected in India alone, and up to 50% of cases going undetected, the need for awareness and early detection is paramount.

The Glaucoma Awareness Week Campaign is encompassing a series of field activities designed to educate communities specifically targeting the youth about the importance of regular eye check-ups and early intervention. Key highlights of the campaign includes:

Green T-Shirt Initiative: Field teams are sporting green T-shirts bearing the ‘Glaucoma Mukt Bharat’ logo to symbolize unity in the fight against glaucoma.

Cap Distribution: Doctors and their staff has received green caps to signify their support for glaucoma awareness.

Localized Awareness Materials: Posters and danglers featuring glaucoma awareness messages in regional languages are being distributed across target areas.

Patient Education: Field teams are utilizing patient education leaflets to educate individuals in OPD areas about glaucoma symptoms, risk factors, and preventive measures.

Vision Simulation: To demonstrate the impact of glaucoma on vision, special goggles simulating glaucomatous vision are being showcased, allowing individuals to experience firsthand the challenges faced by those with the condition.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Nikkhil K Masurkar, CEO of ENTOD Pharmaceuticals, stated: “Our aim with the ‘#GlaucomaMuktBharat’ campaign is to empower individuals with knowledge about glaucoma and encourage proactive eye care practices. By fostering awareness and facilitating early detection, we can work towards reducing the burden of glaucoma-related blindness in India. This campaign is not just about raising awareness; it’s about taking tangible steps to save sight and improve lives.”

Dr. Pankaj Bendale, Glaucoma consultant, NIO, Pune, a renowned ophthalmologist and supporter of the campaign, emphasized the significance of community-driven initiatives in combating glaucoma: “Undetected and untreated glaucoma can lead to irreversible visual impairment and blindness, making early detection crucial for preventing vision loss. It’s imperative to increase awareness about glaucoma, especially in underserved communities, and implement effective screening programs to ensure equitable access to eye care services. Through this campaign, we aim to educate the public about the importance of regular eye check-ups and empower individuals to take proactive steps towards preserving their vision.”

In addition to field activities, the campaign emphasizes the importance of regular eye check-ups, especially for individuals over 40 years of age and those with a family history of glaucoma. Early detection, coupled with timely intervention, can significantly improve outcomes and prevent vision loss.

Early detection and treatment are paramount in managing glaucoma, a condition that can often be asymptomatic in its early stages. Regular eye check-ups are crucial for identifying glaucoma early, as timely intervention and appropriate treatment can help preserve vision and enhance the quality of life for those affected by the condition.

The Glaucoma Awareness Week Campaign underscores the collective efforts of Matanand Foundation and ENTOD Pharmaceuticals to create a ‘Glaucoma Mukt Bharat’—a nation free from the burden of glaucoma-related blindness. By raising awareness, promoting early detection, and advocating for accessible eye care services, the campaign aims to pave the way for a brighter future for all individuals at risk of glaucoma.