EXPERTS ADVOCATE PERIODIC EYE CHECKS TO PREVENT BLINDNESS

… As Lagos Commemorates 2021 World Sight Day

Medical experts have tasked citizens to engage professional eyecare practitioners for regular, periodic eye checks and treatment services to prevent blindness and preserve eyesight.

This was made known recently during a public symposium organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, through the Blindness Prevention Programme Unit, to commemorate the 2021 World Sight Day in Lagos State.

Speaking at the symposium, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye, enjoined citizens to always avail themselves of periodic eye checks in order to detect defects early enough and seek necessary medical assistance from professionals to avert permanent blindness.

He said: “The World Sight Day is a global celebration targeted towards creating awareness and sensitising the populace on the importance of taking adequate care of their sight, especially in a country where blind people find it difficult to function in everyday life. The theme for this year’s celebration ‘Love Your Eyes, Everyone Counts’, is well thought out as the eye is a very delicate organ that needs proper attention”.

While restating the commitment of the State Government to blindness prevention, Ogboye averred that the annual commemoration of World Sight Day is not just to create awareness about avoidable blindness but to ensure that various strategies are put in place by the government help to preserve citizens’ vision.

“A lot of cases of blindness are preventable. The whole point of what we are trying to achieve with the whole work that is ongoing is to ensure that fewer people lose their sight and continue to be productive”, the Permanent Secretary said.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director, Medical Administration, Training and Programmes, Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi, advised citizens to take the issue of eye care seriously, ensure good personal hygiene and eat foods rich in vitamins A, D, C, E as well as antioxidants for good vision.

“Everybody, more than ever before, needs to love their eyes, take good care of their eyes, maintain good eyesight and know the importance and value of the eyes. Citizens must do everything possible to protect the eyes as they are precious, eat healthy and adopt a healthy living”, she said.

In her lecture, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Prof. Folashade Akinsola, emphasised that residents should seek help only from professionals and approved eye hospitals or clinics for their eye care needs, stressing that patronising unqualified personnel may cause irreversible damage to the eye.

Prof. Akinsola, therefore, urged all members of the public to cultivate a hygienic way of life, advising them to always wash their faces with clean water as part of their eye care routine.

Ayomide Oyewole

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