The Christian Blind Mission International (CBMI) said, no fewer than N1.7 billion will be spend for eye treatment which over 3.9 million people are to benefit in Jigawa state.
This was disclosed by the CBMI country director Bright Ekweramadu, while speaking to news men shortly after launching the project on Tuesday at Manpower Development Institute Dutse.
He said, the project will be implemented by two donor partners, Christian Blind Mission International (CBMI) and Health Development Support Programme (HANDS) with support from Jigawa state government to fill the gaps.
“The project will be implemented for a duration of forty-one (41) months from 01/11/2022 – 31/03/2026. It will aim to reach 53,920 direct beneficiaries, as well as 3.9 Million indirect beneficiaries”, he said.
The country Director explained that, the National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey in Nigeria was conducted from 2005-2007 and the prevalence of blindness in people of all ages was estimated to be 0.78%.
He said, the prevalence of blindness was found to increase significantly with increasing age, from 0.8% at 40-49 years to 23.3% among those aged ≥ 80 years. Females were found to have a higher prevalence when compared to males.
According to him, during the survey, the North west geo-political zone of Nigeria where Jigawa is located, being the most populous zone was found to have the largest number of blind adults in the country.
“Cataract was the commonest cause of severe visual impairment and blindness and responsible for 45.3% and 43.0%, respectively. Glaucoma was the second commonest cause of blindness accounting for 16.7% of blindness” he said.
Ekweramadu said, the Comprehensive and Inclusive Eye Health Project for Jigawa State aims to improve the eye health of the population in Jigawa state and will be achieved by integrating eye health into the governance of the health services in the State by raising awareness and on the availability of eye care services in the State.
He added that by improving the accessibility of inclusive eye health at primary and secondary levels in the State; and strengthening the professional capacity of eye care and health care workers and other support staff to provide comprehensive and inclusive eye health services in the State.
While making his remarks, the Jigawa state governor who was represented secretary to the state government, Alhaji Bala Ibrahim commended the donor partners and urged Jigawa people to cooperate for the success of the project.