Visual impairments pose a great risk to proper child development from infancy to early adolescence, invariably compromising the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of the child (Gilbert et al., 2003). Demissie and Demissie (2014) estimated that 19 million children globally experience visual impairments and 80% of these cases are considered avoidable (WHO report, 2018). Approximately three-quarters of the world’s blind children live in Africa and Asia. However, 7.28% and 9.7% of the children who are visually impaired live in Ethiopia (Bezabih, 2017) and South-Eastern Nigeria (Okoye, 2013), respectively.
It is important to note that causes of visual impairment in children vary across different regions in the world. Although, amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye is the most diagnosed visual impairment that hinders learning and the development of fine motor skills in children. Bezabih (2017), concluded that 75-90% of learning occurs totally or partially through the visual pathway, proving the fact that vision impairments would inhibit the natural learning and social interaction process in children.
To further improve the quality of life of children, how do we reduce the burden of developmental disorders in children due to visual problems? What are the necessary interventions that could be used to address vision problems in children? What mediums do you suggest could increase the level of awareness of vision problems and its effects on child development?