90 million people risk total blindness by 2020 â€“ NOA
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, â€œFrom 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.
â€œThese 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-
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
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