Shocker!!! 90 Million Nigerians Could Be Blind By 2020 – Eye Care Experts Warns

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This was made known by the Nigerian Optometric Association
president, Dr. Damian Echendu at a briefing to herald the
association’s 39th Annual General Meeting and conference.….

Over 90 million Nigerians could go blind by 2020 if stringent measures
are not taken to guard against this.

It was made known by the Nigerian Optometric Association president,
Dr. Damian Echendu at a briefing to herald the association’s 39th
Annual General Meeting and conference.

A survey by the Federal Ministry of Health shows that over one million
Nigerians above age 40 are currently blind.

According to Dr Echendu most of said cases were infact avoidable and
most affected were above 40 years of age. He added that if actions are
not taken to prevent the avoidable causes of blindness, the number might
double by 2020.

Said Echendu,

“Blindness is more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty, lack of
basic amenities and insensitivity of government towards health care
workers are among the main causes of blindness in sub-Saharan Africa.”

He therefore called on the government to set up optometry departments
in state and federal ministries of health and other tertiary health care
institutions in the country.

Echendu said the Nigerian economy was losing productivity on account
of the avoidable blindness, adding that “Nigerian-trained optometrists
are positioned and ready to provide the professional services needed to
enhance and protect the vision and health of the public.”

He also expressed concern over the near absence of employment
opportunities for optometrists in public health care facilities and
institutions in the country.

Furthermore, he blamed the lack of research and non-implementation of
internship training programmes in public health facilities on lack of
funding by the government.

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