Deltans have been cautioned to patronize only trained eye professionals for their eye care. The advise which was given by the Delta Commissioner for Health, Nicholas Azinge, during the 2017 World Sight Day (WSD), also identified hypertension and diabetics as major causes of blindness.
Speaking at the 2017 World Sight Day celebration with the theme “Universal Eye Health: Make Vision Count”, at Ellu, Isoko North local government area, the commissioner who was represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary, Minnie Oseji, noted that people suffered avoidable blindness due to complications caused by hypertension and diabetics, giving assurance that the Delta State Contributory Health Scheme had come to the rescue as the twin diseases were well covered by the scheme.
Mr. Azinge, while thanking the facilitators of this year’s World Sight Day, Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN), Delta State Chapter, for its foresight in focusing on cataracts, which is an avoidable cause of blindness, that has caused about 50 percent of all cases of blindness worldwide.
According to Mr. Azinge, the data that would be generated from the free eye care services put together by OSN as part of activities to mark the 2017 World Sight Day would greatly enhance statistics on eye care in the state and the country in general.
On his part, chairman of the occasion and immediate past Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), Ovuozuorie Macaulay thanked the OSN for using their profession to give back to the society even as he called on the leadership of oil-bearing communities to utilize their share of oil revenue in boosting the wellbeing of their people, noting that as individuals, they do not necessarily have to be politicians before they could positively affect the lives of people.
Mr. Macaulay who used the occasion to advised Deltans to desist from self-medication and patronage of quacks in seeking solution to their eye problems, emphasized the need to seek recourse from well-trained ophthalmologists.
In her welcome address, Chairman of OSN, and Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Gloria Patrick-Ferife, disclosed that over 2, 000 persons were screened for cataracts and surgery was done for 25, explaining that more surgeries would be carried out before the end of the free eye services.
The Chairman of Isoko North local government council, Emmanuel Egbabor, in a goodwill message, said that his administration had always supported free health programmes and promised to build on the OSN initiative.
In another goodwill message by the Zonal Coordinator of OSN, Faith Ejegi, bemoaned the rate of blindness in the society and called on the state government to employ more Ophthalmologists, saying in a state of over five million people, only 15 Ophthalmologists were on ground in both government and private health institutions, including the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba and Delta State Teaching Hospital, Oghara.
Some of the beneficiaries thanked the OSN for the free treatment and surgeries provided them.
World Sight Day is celebrated every second Thursday of October to create awareness on the prevention of blindness and the practice of good eye care.