Moyo. The minister in charge of general duties in office of the Prime Minister, Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, has advised the communities to observe personal hygiene at household levels as government focuses on eliminating blindness and trachoma diseases.
During the White Cane day celebrations over the weekend, Karooro said: “Trachoma is the second leading cause of preventable blindness after cataracts in Uganda. it affects people living in rural areas with limited access to water and good sanitation. So people need to start having proper hygiene,” she said.
She said more efforts need to be put at the border areas with South Sudan due to cases of Neglected Tropical Diseases that exist in South Sudan.
State Minister for Primary health care, Dr Joyce Moriku, said in Uganda, 2.4 million people are visually impaired. The 2014 statistics indicate that about 250,000 people suffer from blindness.
She said the communities perceive blindness as inability to perform routine activities because blindness puts an increased social and economic strain to the affected individual as well as the care givers and the entire family members.
“Children cannot fully access education as they are bound to look after the blind family member. Similarly the other care givers cannot have enough time to engage in productive activities that contribute to the family income,” she said.
Mr Stephen Ntege, the Chairman board of governor for Uganda National Association of the blind says: “White Cane Day helps us to renew our commitments towards achieving good sight for all and this is designed as a mobility tool and should be provided to all the people who need it,” he said.