Review Article

Vision health disparities in blindness and visual impairment in Nigeria: A review of the Nigerian National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey

Obinna F. Akano
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 76, No 1 | a345 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v76i1.345 | © 2017 Obinna F. Akano | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 January 2016 | Published: 28 March 2017

About the author(s)

Obinna F. Akano, Department of Epidemiology, State University of New York, United States


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Abstract

Purpose: Blindness and visual impairment have become public health problems with prevalence increasing year after year. Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, is also very diverse in terms of geographical location, ethnicity and culture. This study looks at and considers the vision health disparities in blindness and visual impairment in Nigeria using socio-demographic factors such as gender, geopolitical zones, place of residence and literacy.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted on PubMed and Google Scholar databases from May 2014 to May 2015. The search included articles from 2001 to May 2015 as well as a review of the Nigerian National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey.

Results: The male dominance culture and lower literacy levels among women in Nigeria have led to a higher prevalence of blindness and visual impairment among women compared to men. In Nigeria, eye diseases that lead to blindness and visual impairment occur more in certain geopolitical zones and ecological regions than others. More Nigerians live in remote rural areas, with little or no access to health care, rather than in urban areas where there are more eye care practitioners and better facilities for care.

Conclusion: Differences in gender, geopolitical zones, place of residence and literacy are responsible for existing vision health disparities in blindness and visual impairment in Nigeria.


Keywords

Vision health disparity; blindness and visual impairment

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