JAKARTA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- A senior official at the health ministry said that with the growing increase in life expectancy, Indonesia will experience a prevalence of blindness and sight disorders as one of the main health problems affecting the elderly, local media reported on Friday.
The Health Ministry's director for basic health management efforts Dedi Kuswenda said Thursday that blindness and sight disorders were among the main health problems Indonesian people were currently dealing with, with cataract causing 50 percent of total blindness in health cases.
"Cataract-related blindness is avoidable. We can actually prevent cataract patients from losing their sight through surgery on the affected eyes and they will recover fully," Dedi said.
The 2007 Basic Health Research shows that the prevalence of blindness in the country stands at 0.9 percent.
Refraction disorder appears to be another major cause of blindness and sight disorders, its prevalence stands at 22.1 percent of the total population and 15 percent of patients with refraction disorder are school-age children, the Jakarta Post reported.
"Refraction disorder can affect people from all groups of age. But we have particular concern for school-age children with the disorder," Dedi added.
Glaucoma and other eye disorders such as xeroftalmia or health problems caused by Vitamin A deficiency aggravate the problems of blindness and sight disorders in the country.
On Feb. 15, 2000, former vice president Megawati Soekarnoputri declared Vision 2020: The Right to Sight as a national commitment to tackle avoidable and correctable blindness and sight disorders.