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22nd International Congress of German Ophthalmic Surgeons

18. to 21.06.2009, Nürnberg

Ophthalmology in India

Meeting Abstract

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  • Antonio Bergua - University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department of Ophthalmology, Erlangen, Germany
  • Matthias Vogler - University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department of Ophthalmology, Erlangen, Germany
  • Christopher Rössler - University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Department of Ophthalmology, Erlangen, Germany

22. Internationaler Kongress der Deutschen Ophthalmochirurgen. Nürnberg, 18.-21.06.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09docVI 4.3

doi: 10.3205/09doc088, urn:nbn:de:0183-09doc0885

Published: July 9, 2009

© 2009 Bergua et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



The republic India is the world’s largest democracy. With a population of 1.2 milliard inhabitants India is surpassed only by China. Approximate 19 million Indians are blind, living predominantly in the countryside. The most frequent reason for blindness is cataract: There are 15 million cataract blind patients in India. Three of four Indians over 60 years suffer from it. The most used technique for cataract surgery is the extracapsular cataract extraction with simultaneous intraocular lens (IOL) implantation. Intracapsular cataract surgeries without IOL implantation can be found only rarely. Also the aphakia glass is little more accepted. The most suppliers of highly qualitative cataract surgery through phacoemulsification with simultaneously IOL implantation are private clinics or medical centers, especially in major cities. Only 15000 ophthalmologists are available in India for treatment of cataract and other ocular diseases, just as much as in Germany, nevertheless, they must supply 1.2 milliard people. Indian ophthalmologists work mainly in conservative ophthalmology and in the big towns; rural regions are avoided. Every year approx. 250 ocular surgeons are trained in India. In future the specialist's education should be better aimed on the modern ophthalmic surgery, in particular phacoemulsification, corneal transplantation and vitreo-retinal surgery. Also the realization of refractive interventions, above all LASIK, spreads rapidly in the major cities of India. By the rapid economic and technological development, India is also able to develop and produce own technologies for the ophthalmologic diagnosis and treatment ocular’s diseases.