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We Have More Than 1M Blind Adults Living In Nigeria — Dr. Abia Nzelu

Blindness

Blindness

As 2020’s World Glaucoma Week gets celebrated, medical expert, Dr. Abia Nzelu has come out to say that every 5 seconds, one person goes blind in the world.

Abia also believes more than one million blind adults live in Nigeria.

According to her, one child goes every minute and four out of every 5 victims are needlessly blind in developing nations like Nigeria since there are no preventive eye care measures in place.

She added that low vision and blindness affects not just the victim, but also his or her family and the community at large.

Her words, “Globally, the life expectancy of blind persons is 1/3 less than that of their sighted counterparts and most of them die within 10 years of becoming blind. Sadly, 90 percent of blind people live in developing countries like Nigeria. In Africa, the poor and blind live 20 years less than those who are only poor and 60 percent of children die within 2 years of becoming blind. In Nigeria, there are currently over 1 million blind adults over 40 years of age.”

“A major problem of glaucoma is that Glaucomaics (people with Glaucoma) usually lose vision before they notice any problems with their eyes; hence it is nicknamed “the silent thief of vision.” Moreover, about 50 percent of all glaucoma cases are undiagnosed in developed countries, and as high as 90% of missed cases occur in developing countries.

“The main risk factors for the development of glaucoma include high intraocular (eye) pressure (although glaucoma can often develop with ‘normal’ intraocular pressure), increasing age, positive family history for glaucoma, ethnicity, short-sightedness, and far-sightedness. Glaucoma can affect any age group including newborn babies but is more common in older adults.

“Most forms of glaucoma affect both eyes and do not have symptoms in their early stages. However, Glaucomaics (Glaucoma patients) may often complain of frequent change of glasses. If untreated, people with glaucoma will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision but will not notice any change in their vision until the damage is very severe.

“Groups could also apply to be included as hosts in the schedule of the on-going free community-based outreaches (Mission PinkCruise), by sending an email to [email protected]


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