EUROPE/ITALY - Every minute a child goes blind: "Let's open our Eyes" to avoid this tragedy

Wednesday, 7 October 2015 healthcare  

Alberto Giuliani/archivio CBM Italia.

Milan (Agenzia Fides) – Eye treatment or buying a pair of glasses in some areas of the world is now routine while it is a rarity elsewhere. The lack of these basic services and tools, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), becomes a risk factor for millions of children living in developing countries. On the occasion of the XVI World Sight Day, which is celebrated on October 8, CBM Italy launches its Let's open our Eyes to raise awareness and funds, in accordance with WHO recommendations for the elimination of avoidable blindness. To date, childhood blindness continues at a fast pace: every minute a child goes blind. Early diagnosis would be enough to cure the major causes of blindness and eye diseases.
According to WHO in 40% of cases the causes of childhood blindness are treatable with targeted operations. If not treated quickly, 60% of children who become blind die within one year. "This year, says the statement sent to Fides by CBM Italy, we have decided to intervene in 15 Countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia, with 19 hospitals and mobile eye clinics. Our goal is to reach 13,000 people with 7,000 surgeries and the distribution of 6,000 pairs of eyeglasses to correct refractive defects. CBM doctors will be able to operate children belonging to the poorest families, set up mobile eye clinics and carry out screening activities to follow those living in remote areas and are unable to reach hospitals in the city. Also thanks to the funds raised during the campaign, glasses for children will be distributed. "Kenya is one of the countries benefiting from the campaign Let's open our Eyes. Among others Ethiopia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, El Salvador, India, Nepal. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 07/10/2015)