Representatives of Nigerian Federal and State Government health ministries, the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), CBM and Standard Chartered gathered in Abuja on 7 February for the official launch of a three-year intervention programme to prevent childhood blindness and visual impairment in Nigeria.
CBM will lead the implementation of the programme, working in coalition with the Brien Holden Vision Institute. The programme is sponsored by by Seeing is Believing, a collaboration between Standard Chartered and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Children who are blind or visually impaired in Nigeria often struggle to go to school, move around safely and fulfil their potential. A lack of eye health services means that many children lose their sight because of diseases or conditions that could be treated.
Over 3 years, 1.5 million children in 11 States of Nigeria are expected to benefit from the new programme, which will improve access to sight-saving eye health services through a wide range of activities, including training health and community workers, funding treatment and providing glasses and low vision devices.
As a part of the programme, CBM will be conducting research on child eye health to improve understanding of childhood blindness in poor communities. CBM will also be working with specialist and mainstream schools, to improve access to education for children who are visually impaired or blind.
Disclaimer: This article first appeared on the IAPB website.