Study predicts 40 percent increase in blindness in Nigeria by 2020

Sep 08, 2009

By 2020, 1.4 million Nigerians over age 40 will lose their sight, and the vast majority of the causes are either preventable or treatable, according to the Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study Group.

In the September issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, the group shares the second half of the results of the study, which examined almost 15,000 Nigerians over 40 between 2005 and 2007. The goal of the study (Causes of and Visual Impairment in Nigeria: The Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey) was to help Nigeria create a plan for its participation in the World Health Organization's VISION 2020: The Right to Sight Initiative, which is working globally to eliminate preventable blindness. The first half of the study appeared in Investigative Ophthalmology earlier this year.

About 23 percent had some sort of visual impairment, and 4.2 percent were blind. Cataracts were the most common cause of blindness, with glaucoma second. Refractive errors (which cause nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatisms) were frequently the cause of less serious visual impairments. Other common treatable or preventable causes of visual impairment included complications from diabetes, trachoma (a of the eye) and the parasite onchocerciasis, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of a black fly and is prevalent in Africa.

"The high proportion of avoidable blindness … means that appropriate and accessible refraction and surgical services need to be provided," the report states. "If priority attention is not given, the number of blind and severely visually impaired adults in Nigeria will increase by greater than 40 percent over the next decade."

The study noted that groups that had less access to health care were particularly vulnerable to preventable .

According to the study, "The difference in the prevalence of vision loss due to cataract between men and women, urban and rural areas, and levels of education in Nigeria almost certainly reflects access to services." The authors recommended vision care plans that target women, rural residents and the less educated.

Source: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (news : web)

Explore further: Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vision loss more common in people with diabetes

Oct 13, 2008

Visual impairment appears to be more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Recommended for you

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

1 hour ago

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

Apr 18, 2014

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

Apr 18, 2014

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Apr 18, 2014

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

Apr 18, 2014

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.