36 million people blind globally – survey   … Cataract remains leading cause of blindness in the world

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By: Joy Odor/Kaduna

About thirty-six million people are said to be blind globally, two-hundred-and-seventeen million people with severe or moderate visual impairment while two-hundred-and-fifty-three million people visually impaired according to Nigerian National Blindness Survey conducted 2005-2007.

This was made know to newsmen at the 2017 Annual Public Lecture delivered at the National Eye Centre Kaduna State in commemoration of the World Sight Day with the Theme: Make Vision Count by an Ophthalmologist, Dr. Amina Hassan Wali in Kaduna, North-West, Nigeria on Thursday.

Dr. Amina Hassan Wali informed that one-point-one billion people are with near-vision impairment while un-operated cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in low-and middle income countries.

She mentioned that the major global causes of visual impairment include uncorrected refractive errors with 53%, un-operated cataract, 25%, age-related macular degeneration 4% and glaucoma 2% while the major causes of blindness remain un-operated cataract 35 %, uncorrected refractive error 21 % and glaucoma 8 %.

Also during the lecture, Dr. Amina Wali disclosed that an estimated 19 million children are vision impaired and of these numbers, 12 million children have vision impairment, around 1.4 million have irreversible blindness, requiring access to vision rehabilitation services to optimize functioning and reduce disability.

Commenting, the Acting Chief Medical Director, Dr. Akang Ubong Johnson, representing the Chief Medical Director, Muhammad Al-Hassan called on Governments at all levels to provide the Centre with consumables to make their work effective.

As part of the activities to mark the World Sight Day, celebrated 12th of October every year, the Centre embarked on Community Outreach Program at old Afaka in Mando, Igabi Local Government area of the State for free eye care service to check the eyes of the poor people of the community.

The Village Head, Alhaji Yusuf Salihu while commended the National Eye Centre for helping the Community with their eye problem called on the people especially the parents to stop using locally made or traditional herbs to cure any eye problem for their children.

One of the Doctors at the outreach, Dr. Maji Attah observed that lack of establishing primary eye care centre at community levels are part of major factors contributing to blindness and called on the governments to look into it.

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