Unnecessary blindness is up to 40 times higher in some third-world areas than in industrialised countries.
GV Young blind girl following cow out of hut and caring for it
SV Health worker coming to visit blind people and treating small child (5 shots)
GV Blind students in school yard
SV INTERIOR Teacher and children in class (2 shots)
GV Blind boy making sticks of chalk (6 shots)
GV Slum with people sitting around talking, including health worker (5 shots)
GV Mothers attending community nutrition class (4 shots)
(MUTE) GV Day care centre with community worker helping mother with child and children being taught hygiene outside the centre (3 shots)
SV Women cooking school lunch (3 shots)
GV Family eating lunch
GV EXTERIOR Vegetable garden at school with pupils working (4 shots)
SV Baby being washed (3 shots)
GV Children playing on climbing frame (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Children attending yoga class (2 shots)
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Background: Unnecessary blindness is up to 40 times higher in some third-world areas than in industrialised countries. Health workers trying to cope with the problem in villages throughout Bangladesh are frequently confronted with childhood blindness caused by malnutrition. Vitamin A deficiency is the main cause. Vitamin A capsules are given to young children throughout Bangladesh every six months in an attempt to reduce malnutrition-blindness, which strikes children between the ages of one and six. Many schools in Bangladesh provide inexpensive braille facilities enabling blind children to receive a normal education. Projects have also been set up to employ the young blind. On the outskirts of Dacca they make chalk for schools.
In Bombay, India, a major urban programme has been set up to prevent malnutrition. There the problem is aggravated by over-crowding and poor sanitation. Community workers take classes to teach mothers and children facts about hygiene and cheap nutritious foods. The programme also includes periodic check-ups on school canteens which are encouraged to provide vitamin-A rich meals. School garden projects are organised to teach children to identify and grow nutritious fruit and vegetables. The Mata Lachmi nursery in Bombay holds yoga classes to help the blind adapt to their disability and to improve mental control.