In 2002, more than 161 million people in the world were visually impaired of whom 124 million people had low vision and 37 million were blind.
The figures for Nigeria are not known but from extrapolation about 1.2 million people are blind and about 4.08 million have low vision. It is hoped that more complete country data will emerge from the just commenced Nigerian survey, but given current estimates, the number of blind and low vision persons will almost double by the year 2020 unless concerted action is taken.
Most visual loss is avoidable with current knowledge and technology. The Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria has designed the Strategic Plan to Preserve and Restore Vision – VISION FOR THE FUTURE-NIGERIA, to encourage, enhance and coordinate activities of ophthalmologists, other eye-care providers, physicians, health specialists and societal leaders in a sustained programme to decrease the toll of blindness and low vision throughout Nigeria.