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‘.6m Nigerians Suffer from Cataract Disease’

Posted by From Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja on 2005/09/14 | Views: 282 |

‘.6m Nigerians Suffer from Cataract Disease’


About 600,000 are suffering from Cataract blindness as a result of their inability to assess necessary treatment for the ailment.

About 600,000 are suffering from Cataract blindness as a result of their inability to assess necessary treatment for the ailment.

Helen Keller International (HKI), a non-governmental agency involved in the research and treatment of causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition made the startling revelation yesterday at the opening of a one-day donor's dialogue workshop on South-south collaborative network on Population and Development in West Africa.

Reading from the statistics of current study conducted by the group, a representative of HKI in Nigeria, Mrs. Abigail Nyam, said Nigeria's cataract treatment is at an abysmally low level, 2,000 per a million people.

The study puts Nigeria ahead of other West African countries in the prevalence rate of river blindness (about 75 per cent of the sub-regional Onchocerciasis infections are found in Nigeria).

Nyam, whose organisation is a participant in a partnership network being forged by National Planning Corporation (NPC) along with other countries in the West African region to improve health conditions, said the leading causes of blindness could be directly or indirectly linked to poor hygiene and sanitation.

The organisation said it has encouraged the provision of nutritional supplement in form of large-scale food fortification with vitamin A.
It has intervened directly by offering treatment to about 1.6 million victims in 2004 and aided the supply and distribution of ivermectin drug to three states of the country, committing a total of $2 million to the project.

Minister of Health, Prof. Eyitayo Lambo, said the major goal behind the Federal Government's health sector reform agenda is the attainment of high quality health care delivery.

He said the on-going review of guidelines and procedures in key health areas such as reproductive health, use of contraception, maternal health and HIV/AIDS will benefit from the inputs to be generated from the regional networking.

"The emergence of a West African network will assist in the designing of guidelines and clinical procedures to enhance efficiency in healthcare delivery," he said.

Earlier, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President and Chief Executive of NPC, Prof. Ode Ojowu, said the essence of the meeting is to create awareness among Nigerian stakeholders on South-south activities of partners in population and development.Representatives of international donor agencies like the USAID, DFID, WHO, EU, UNFPA, including the Chinese and French embassy officials attended the conference.


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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.