Patterns of childhood blindness have been changing and there is a need to reassess their strategies says a team of eye specialists from India, Malawi, and Tanzania.
Recognition and treatment of the disease in developing countries is needed.
According to Paul Courtright (Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Good Samaritan Foundation, Moshi, Tanzania) and colleagues, there have been major reductions in nutritional and infectious causes of childhood blindness in developing countries, largely as a result of vitamin A supplementation and measles vaccination programs.
"With reductions in nutritional and infectious causes of blindness intra-uterine and genetic causes of blindness (e.g., cataract and congenital anomalies) have assumed increased importance and need tertiary care-level interventions and long-term follow-up to achieve good visual rehabilitation," they said.
While writing in PLoS Medicine, the authors suggest further research is needed to identify the underlying causes of congenital and developmental cataract and to determine the best strategies for recognition, referral, treatment, and rehabilitation.