Upsurge of blindness worries professionals | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Upsurge of blindness worries professionals

Posted: Apr 10, 2015 at 2:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Anolu Vincent /  Senior Correspondent, Owerri 


The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has raised the alarm over the increasing cases of blindness in the developing world, explaining that two out of three Nigerians are currently suffering from the disease arising from such avoidable causes as cataract and glaucoma.

Chairman of the association, Imo State chapter, Dr, Martin  Ohiri, who made the revelation while briefing newsmen on the 2015 World Glaucoma  Week in the state, said while an approximate 314  million people globally are visually impaired, 39  million are blind of which glaucoma is the second  leading cause of the visually impaired and blind  population.

Quoting the Nigerian 2005 to 2007  National Blindness and Visual Impairment  Survey, Ohiri disclosed that it is estimated that 1,130,000 individuals aged 40 and above are currently ravaged by  blindness in the country.

According to him, a further 3,000,00 adults aged 40 and above are estimated to  have moderate visual impairment and an additional 400,000 adults entangled in severe visual impairment, adding that a total  of 4.53 million adults aged 40 and above in the country are visually impaired or blind.

As part of measures to contain the trend, Ohiri said  his association had in the past eight years invested over N25 million on programmes for  the prevention of the disease  in the state, lamenting  that in all, two out of three Nigerians are blind from causes which could be  avoided such as cataract, trachoma, blindness  refractive error and low vision.

He made it clear that the World Glaucoma Week (WGW) is a joint Global  Initiative of the World  Glaucoma Association (WGA) and the World Glaucoma Patients association (WGPA) World  Health Organisation (WHO), all professional bodies of eye  care personnel, multi nationals, governmental and  non governmental agencies to raise  awareness of glaucoma, what it does to  sight and how it might affect  an individual.