The Federal Government and Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) have been urged to increase advocacy and public enlightenment on child blindness with a view to reducing the scourge of the disease.
A Consultant Pediatric Ophthalmologist with the University of Benin, Prof. Oseluese Dawodu, gave the advice while delivering the 152nd Inaugural Lecture of the institution.
She spoke on the theme Childhood blindness: A changing picture with changing challenges.
Dawodu said the rise in the number of blind children could be attributed to poverty and superstitious beliefs that a child with an eye problem would not overcome it. She said it was wrong for illiterate people with eye problems to use unorthodox medicines instead of the hospitals.
Lamenting the growing rate of the disease and stigmatization of blind children, she stated that traditional institutions and miracle churches have done more harm than good to blind children.
In curbing the menace of childhood blindness, Dawodu called on government to create a centre of excellence for Healthcare in Ophthalmology in each geo-political zones with a view to bringing treatment closer to the people and enact laws to ban unregistered bodies from offering eye care services.