Following a 2015 report by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness that close to two-thirds of the world’s blind are women, the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is partnering with the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) to tackle the issue in the country.
The intention was disclosed yesterday in Abuja when the president of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Dr Damian Echendu led executive members of his association on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan.
Damian said women’s visual impairment is compounded mainly by the fact that women do not have access to eye care services as much as men, especially in rural areas.
He said, “This is even worsened by the fact that women have a higher predisposition to potentially blinding conditions such as trachoma, diabetes, and even blindness secondary to domestic violence.
“Without proper intervention, women are missing out on opportunities in the society and are excluded from productive working lives, costing them their independence and having severe economic and social consequences.
“Individuals and families are frequently pushed into a cycle of deepening poverty because of their inability to see clearly.”
Of equal concern, the NOA president revealed, according to a study that at least, one in four school age children has vision problem that affects learning.
“The child does not perform up to full potential, especially with academic work and may be viewed as dull by the parents and/or teachers which can ultimately lead to loss of confidence, motivation and frustration.”