Childhood Blindness in Developing Countries

Overview

Children’s eyes are very sensitive and are easily affected by infection and nutritional deficiencies. Childhood blindness is caused by a number of diseases and conditions – in low-income countries, Vitamin-A deficiencies, cataracts from rubella, corneal scarring from measles, strabismus, and retinopathy of prematurity from premature birth. Prevention and treatment depends on the cause of blindness and can range from public health campaigns providing Vitamin-A supplements to surgery. SEE holds many pediatric-specific expeditions throughout the year, generally once a month.

CAUSES

Some of the leading causes of childhood blindness include:

  • Cataracts from rubella
  • Corneal scarring from measles, Vitamin-A deficiencies, or traditional medicines
  • Strabismus
  • Retinopathy of prematurity from premature birth

PREVENTION

Preventing childhood blindness requires access to prenatal care, primary health care, and good nutrition, which is not often available in developing countries, especially rural areas.

Childhood Blindness

SEE International & Childhood Blindness Around the World

Treating Childhood Blindness is a priority for SEE International. Currently our focus is on cataracts, corneal blindness, and strabismus.

SEE is working diligently to reduce the number of childhood blindness around the world by:

  • Performing pediatric surgery
  • Teaching appropriate surgical techniques
  • Training local eye care personnel in ophthalmology in rural and urban areas
  • Strengthening local health care infrastructure

More Resources

Eye Conditions We Treat

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  • SEE volunteers, Dr. Jesus Fuentes Mujica, ophthalmic technician Luis Velasco and Dr. Maxwell Cheng cared for hundreds of Peruvians, providing free eye exams and sight-restoring surgeries. Dr. Mujica is a Peruvian ophthalmologist who goes on close to 20 medical missions in his own country each year. Seeing how worn his one set of surgical instruments were from many years of use, Dr. Cheng generously gave him his own instrument set so that Dr. Mujica could continue his work to help the needy in the rural areas of Peru.

    March 27

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