Dr. Kelech Uwazie on behalf of the Bridge Of Sight Foundation, Nigeria
To improve the uptake of low vision services in school-going children with ocular albinism in North Central region, Nigeria
Albinism is the leading cause of low vision amongst children in North Central Nigeria. In this region, there is a lack of optometrists trained in low vision and utilisation of existing low vision services is very low, thus children with albinism lack confidence, struggle at school and often have to repeat classes.
This initiative aims to improve the provision and uptake of low vision services in school-going children with ocular albinism in North Central region, Nigeria by i) training eye health staff, ii) increasing disease awareness of low vision services and iii) providing subsidised spectacles and free low vision devices. The project is in collaboration with The Albino Foundation (TAF) and aims to provide spectacles and low vision devices to approximately 500 school-going albino children aged 6 to 16 years old. 14 optometrists from this region would also be trained in low vision care to offer the service.
The impact of the project will be sustained by the presence of the trained low vision optometrists (14 in total) working in government hospitals in each of the 7 states in the North Central region, ensuring continued low vision care to children with albinism.
Project Update: Since the initiation of this project, 14 optometrists from the North Central region have been successfully trained and low vision care for school-going albino children aged 6 to 16 years old has commenced. 500 spectacles, 500 reading stands, and 1,000 optical low vision aids have been acquired for provision to these schoolchildren. At present, 53 children have been examined and the low vision devices, spectacles, and reading stands have been dispensed as prescribed by the optometrist. Efforts are also continuously made to raise awareness about this project, though publicity programs and by liaising with state coordinators of the Albinism Association of Nigeria in the North Central region.