Child Blindness Program

The Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey found the prevalence of blindness in children aged 10–15 years in Nigeria to be 0.6%. Children who are blind or visually impaired in Nigeria often struggle to go to school, move around safely and fulfil their potential and are faced with a lifetime of emotional, social and economic difficulties due to their disability. Studies have shown that uncorrected refractive error is the major cause of visual impairment in children. The lack of awareness about causes of visual impairments, available eye care services, rehabilitation centers and solutions for eye conditions such as refractive errors, low vision has made people to either not seek for help or present in the late stage.

Oyo State is located in the Southwest geopolitical zone of Nigeria and has 33 Local Governments Areas (LGAs). According to the National Population Commission (NPC), and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS, 2020), the State has an estimated population of 7, 840,900 people (51% male, 49% female) with 38% within the age group of 0 -14 years. According to the Nigeria Health Facility Registry, Oyo State has a total of 1,490 health facilities (868 public, 622 private). Of the primary healthcare facilities in the State, 810 are public while 103 are privately owned; there are also 53 publicly owned secondary health care facilities and 518 privately owned facilities; and 5 public tertiary health facilities as well as 1 privately owned. The state has 2,527 Primary schools and 629 secondary schools across the 33 Local Government Areas.

The USAID Childhood Blindness Program (CBP), through Equitable Health Access Initiative (EHAI) is implementing the Integrated School and Community Eye Health (I-SCEH) project in Oyo State, South west Nigeria. The goal of the project is to improve access to quality eye care services to vulnerable children in Oyo State through integration of sight saving services into the community, School Health and PHC System and Care Program. The Project will reduce the burden of preventable blindness by providing comprehensive eye care services to children <18 years in Oyo State in 4 selected LGAs in the State. The LGAs are: Akinyele, Ibadan North, Ibadan South East and Ibadan South West.

This project will be implemented in four (4) LGA with the highest population and urban slum communities. The selected LGAs of implementation are: Akinyele, Ibadan North, Ibadan South- East and Ibadan South-West with 32, 27, 19 and 22 PHCs; 125, 72, 65 and 81 primary schools; and 35, 42, 40 and 36 Secondary Schools respectively. At these LGAs, the PHCs provide the minimum components of PHC service delivery which includes eye health care and school health care services. Each of these facilities have the following cadre of staff: Community Health Officers, Community Health Extension Workers (CHEW), Junior CHEWs, Nurses/Midwives, Health Information Management (HIM) Officer, HIM Assistant HIM Technologist, Environmental Health Officer, Environmental Health Technologist, Environmental Health Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technologists, Medical Laboratory Assistant and Health Attendant. Each LGA has one medical doctor serving as Medical Officer for Health/Director of PHC services.

Program Goal

This project aims to improve access to quality eye care services to vulnerable children in Oyo State through integration of sight saving services into the community, PHC System and School Health Care Program.

Objectives:

  1. Train 120 healthcare workers, 48 Medical Records Staff (40 PHC Medical records Officers, 4 LGA M&E Officers and 4 LGA Documentation Associates), 320 teachers and 40 Key Informants to screen children for eye disease and conditions and provide eye health services
  2. Screen over 75,000 children for visual impairments and eye ailments
  3. Provide 6000 children with eyeglasses.
  4. Provide 400 children with services and treatment for low vision
  5. Provide 2,500 children with non-surgical treatments.
  6. Provide linkage and referral services to children

 

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