Childhood Blindness: Causes & Prevention
The global prevalence of childhood blindness is approximately 1.4 million. Nearly 500,000 children become blind every year - nearly one per minute.Worldwide, vitamin A deficiency is the commonest single cause of childhood blindness. Childhood blindness can be categorized as preventable & curable. Preventable causes include corneal scars due to vitamin A deficiency, infections & injuries; whereas curable cause includepediatric cataract, glaucoma, retinopathy of prematurity & refractive errors. Of late childhood blindness has been identified as a priority in WHO’s global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.Immunization, maternal & child health care, health education, good nutrition, provision of essential drugs, clean water supply & good sanitation, control of endemic diseases & treatment of common ailments, sufficient personnel trained in primary eye care are essential for control of childhood blindness.
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