The Nigerian Optometric Association, NOA, has warned that except stringent measures are taken, more than 90 million people might go blind globally by the year 2020.
However, over one million Nigerians above 40 years are said to be currently blind, according to a recent survey carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health.
The National President of NOA, Dr. Damian Echendu, raised the alarm during a press briefing to herald its 39th Annual General Meeting and scientific conference scheduled to commence on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that “From a study carried out, it showed that about 1 million people are blind in Nigeria. And these are avoidable cases. Those mostly affected are above 40 years of age. By 2020, if actions are not taken to prevent those avoidable causes of blindness, which currently stands at 45, the number might double and will be 90 million.
“These cases of blindness are more prevalent in sub-saharan Africa. Poverty, lack of basic amenities and insensitivity of government to those that should take care of the people are among the main causes of blindness in sub-saharan Africa.”
Echendu therefore called on government at all levels to set up optometry departments in both state and federal ministries of health and other tertiary healthcare institutions in Nigeria.
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Source:: New Mail