- Over 1 million Nigerians are blind while 3.1 million others visually impaired, a national survey revealed.
The two-year survey, conducted by the federal ministry of health between 2005 and 2007, also revealed that at 75% of such blindness is avoidable.
Blindness afflicts male and female in all parts of the country, with the North-west geo-political zone accounting for the highest number of 0.32 million blind people. In the North-west 0.22 million are afflicted while North-central registered 0.18 millions. With a total figure of 0.12 million, the South-south has recorded the least number of blind people.
Ironically, the survey did not prove any significant difference between the prevalence of blindness among men and women. Also, its prevalence between urban and rural communities was not felt. This implies the absence of better eye care facilities and services in both urban and rural areas.
The study proved that 50% of blindness was caused by cataract, glaucoma resulted to 16% while others were blamed on muscular degeneration and reflective errors.
Nigeria's National Committee for the Prevention of Blindness said it was possible that about 50% of those with eye problems would have their sight fully restored through the use of glasses while 15% through surgery.
The onus now lies on Nigerian health experts to raise public awareness on the prevention of blindness and vision impairment as well as influence the government to prioritise the fight against the health problem.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.