Persons with visual impairments in Tanzania will be able to choose their Member of Parliament and the President using Braille in the upcoming election Oct 25.
This will mark the first time in history for Tanzanian visually challenged to exercise their rights to vote on their own. Previously people having greatly reduced vision had either a family member, social workers, friends or polling station officials assist them at the ballot box.
The trial for how to use the Braille devices for voting will start at the end of September that will enable hundreds of potential voters from visually challenged community in Tanzania vote unassisted.
It is alleged people assisting the visually impaired at the voting stations go against the wishes of visually impaired people.
According to the health statistics, eye conditions were among top ten diseases in Tanzania.
Since a population-based blindness survey was yet to be conducted, the actual national level of blindness prevalence was not known.
However, the minister said, WHO estimated the prevalence of blindness in developing countries to range from 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent.
He said such estimates might not reflect the true picture as a survey conducted in a trachoma endemic district in Tanzania in the year 2008 revealed a prevalence of 3.5 per cent.