| Prevention of childhood blindness |
Blindness affects some 1.5 million children in the world today, with severe adverse consequences for their development and education. Despite the fact that many of the blinding disorders affecting infants and children are either preventable or curable, there are still an estimated half million new cases of childhood blindness every year. The bulk of this problem is found in developing countries, where the life expectancy of the affected children is severely reduced. However, childhood blindness is also a challenge to developed countries, as increasing knowledge and novel techniques open up new possibilities for preventive measures.
In collaboration with two nongovernmental organizations working in the field of childhood blindness—the Christoffel Blindenmission (Germany) and Sight Savers (United Kingdom)— WHO convened a global meeting on the Prevention of Childhood Blindness, hosted by the International Centre for Eye Health in London, from 29 May to 1 June 1990. The participants in the meeting are listed in Annex I. This book is based on the presentations and discussions at the meeting. The valuable support of the two above-mentioned organizations in making possible both the meeting and this publication is gratefully acknowledged. The colour photographs were provided by the International Centre for Eye Health, except for those relating to trachoma, which are included by courtesy of Teaching Aids at Low Cost, St Albans, England.