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Universal Cataract Coverage in India

Status: Completed

Topic Tags: cataract 

SDG Tags: Good health and well-being

Scope: India

Sponsors: None

ASAR Members involved: Anoushka Arora, Siddhesh Zadey, Madhurima Vuddemarry, Himanshu Iyer, Pushkar Nimkar


Cataract is the most common cause of curable blindness in the world. This necessitates the coverage of cataract treatment in India. This project determined that universal cataract coverage would provide India with an economic benefit of USD 12,429,100,755. Additionally, the cost of unmet needs makes up only a small percentage of India’s GDP.


A retrospective analysis was conducted using data for cataract prevalence, surgeries conducted, surgical cost packages and DALYs. This data was obtained from the Global Burden of Diseases study, National Sample Survey, PMJAY packages and the National Health Profile. To calculate the scale-up costs, the total and unmet needs were multiplied with surgical cost packages. The economic benefit for the total and unmet need of scaling up was calculated by multiplying respective DALYs with non-health GDP. The net benefit was calculated by subtracting the scale-up costs from the economic benefits.

Research aims

To estimate the scale-up costs for universal cataract coverage and the benefits of averting the economic burden of cataracts in India 

Advocacy aims

To highlight the health and financial implications of universal cataract care to push for the same.

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