The equipment was supplied by the Japanese Embassy in India as part of the Japanese government's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Project scheme, which aims to meet a wide range of fundamental human needs in developing nations.
This initiative, worth about 7.1 million Japanese yen, supports the provision of eye medical equipment to eye illness patients and socioeconomically vulnerable Manipur residents. According to a statement from the Japanese Embassy, the goal of this project is to give people with timely, high-quality, and cheap eye medical care.
Since the establishment of Shija Hospitals and Research Centre in 1993 in Imphal West, Manipur, the beneficiary organisation, Shija Foundation, has been providing eye care services.
In 2019, the charity performed over 2,000 cataract and corneal procedures, as well as successfully treating youngsters with vision problems. However, due to a lack of specialised medical equipment needed to diagnose and treat serious eye diseases such as Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy, the organisation was forced to refer patients who were unable to receive treatment at the hospital to better-equipped hospitals with adequate medical facilities in Assam.
The inability to obtain treatment in surrounding states contributed to the cost load as well as the difficulty of communicating in a state where the patients spoke a different language. With the help of a Japanese GGP Grant, the organisation will be able to improve the efficiency and availability of eye care services, including treating disorders like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy for roughly 280 people each year. Patients can also access eye care treatments in their own state, according to the report.
Diabetic Retinopathy affects 4% of Manipur's population, and diabetics are at risk (DR). Glaucoma Laser (used to manage painful blind eye), Visual Field Analyzer (VFA- used to detect Glaucoma), B Scan with UBM (Ultrasound Bio Microscope- used to visualise the structure of the eyeball when the media is opaque), and Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography were all purchased with the help of the grant (AS OCT- used to analyse the anterior segment).
These devices are primarily intended to fill a therapeutic gap for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, two of Manipur's most common causes of blindness and visual impairment. With the installation of these devices, early diagnosis and intervention for glaucoma and DR patients in the state can be targeted and treated, officials said.
The handing over ceremony was attended by Shingo Miyamoto, Minister, Economic and Development, Embassy of Japan in India, Ryuhei Nishi, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in India, and Babita, Project Coordinator, GGP, and officials of the Shija Hospital.
Minister Miyamoto spoke at the event and stated his hope that the equipment will help to improve the lives of Manipur's common people. Shija Foundation also conveyed its heartfelt gratitude to the Japanese people for their kind aid to Manipur's people.
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