Is India's policy framework geared for effective action on avoidable blindness from diabetes?

Gaiha, SM; Shukla, R; Gilbert, CE; Anchala, R; Gudlavalleti, MV; (2016) Is India's policy framework geared for effective action on avoidable blindness from diabetes? Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 20 (Suppl 1). S42-50. ISSN 2230-8210 DOI:

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The growing burden of avoidable blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy (DR) needs an effective and holistic policy that reflects mechanisms for early detection and treatment of DR to reduce the risk of blindness. We performed a comprehensive health policy review to highlight the existing systemic issues that enable policy translation and to assess whether India's policy architecture is geared to address the mounting challenge of DR. We used a keyword-based Internet search for documents available in the last 15 years. Two reviewers independently assessed retrieved policies and extracted contextual and program-oriented information and components delineated in national policy documents. Using a "descriptive analytical" method, the results were collated and summarized as per themes to present status quo, gaps, and recommendations for the future. Lack of focus on building sustainable synergies that require well laid out mechanisms for collaboration within and outside the health sector and poor convergence between national health programs appears to be the weakest links across policy documents. To reasonably address the issues of consistency, comprehensiveness, clarity, context, connectedness, and sustainability, policies will have to rely more strongly on evidence from operational research to support decisions. There is a need to involve multiple stakeholders from multiple sectors, recognize contributions from not-for-profit sector and private health service providers, and finally bring about a nuanced holistic perspective that has a voice with implementable multiple sector actions.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: International Centre for Eye Health
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PubMed ID: 27144136


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