More than 30,000 children between the age of 0-14 years in primary and junior secondary schools are suffering from various eye diseases in Jigawa state.
Dr Abdullahi Idris, an eye specialist and head of eye clinic at Rasheed Shekoni Specialist hospital in Dutse, disclosed this during a round table meeting between the ministry of health official, media and the team from the Health and Development Support Programme said out of the over six million people in Jigawa state about 2.4 million are children and estimate magnitude/burden 30,000 has one or another eye diseases.
Dr Abdullahi Idris said that out of the total figures 20% are suffering from cataract, 20% suffers Glaucoma, 20% suffers from scar, 10% ROP and 30% suffering from other common eye diseases.
According to him the major causes of child eye diseases include lack of vitamin A which take 60%, measles, trauma, Keratitis, HTM, ON among others and it happened through sexual transmitted diseases, ROP/pre-maturity and consanguineous/genetics.
Dr Idris further called on the parents to provide foods with nutritional value to children and pregnant women and reporting any eye case to the appropriate centres to reduce the risk of blindness in the state.
On his parts the director public health, Dr.Umar Bulangu said all identified children in primary and junior secondary schools were to enjoy free eye treatment by the Jigawa state government in collaboration with Standard Chartered Bank of the United Kingdom under the Health and Development Support Programme (HDSP) in the state.
Dr. Umar Bulangu explained that the “in the Jigawa state government supports and commitment towards success of this project the ministry of health had designated about 40 health centers to identity and referred them to the treatment center at ECWA eye clinic in Kano.
Also speaking the Jigawa state team leader for the project, Dr Abalis Dasat Abalis said the sum of N1.8 billion was released by the Standard Chartered Bank UK for the project in Nigeria where over 1.5 million children is targeted across the country.
Dr. Abalis Dasat explained that the project is titled ” Seeing is Believing (SiB) is taking place in 11 states including Jigawa in the programme
According to him, for the programme to be successful the organization will trained some selected primary and secondary school teachers, primary healthcare workers, Nurses and midwives to have knowledge on common child eye diseases and report to the appropriate centres for free treatment.