90 million people risk total blindness by 2020 – NOA

By 05:48 Tue, 30 Jun 2015 Comments


Except stringent measures are taken, more than 90 million

people might go blind globally by the year 2020, the

Nigerian Optometric Association, warned on Tuesday.

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, “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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