2 Aug 2013

More than a fifth of blind children Maori, study shows

7:35 pm on 2 August 2013

An Auckland University researcher has found that nearly a quarter of the country's blind children are Maori.

The study released in the New Zealand Medical Journal shows that about 1 in every 1000 Maori children have some degree of visual impairment.

That related to 22% of the country's 800 blind tamariki (children).

Dr Shuan Dai says that half of the cases are caused by problems with the brain, and not the structure of the eye.

However he says a third are avoidable - with a large proportion being caused by child abuse, or non-accidental injury.

Dr Dai says more community awareness of child abuse is needed to bring these numbers down.