1,000 children get free eye care in Ogun

ABOUT 1,000 school children have benefited from free eye tests and treatment  conducted by the joint efforts of eye care professionals in Ogun State.

The News Agency of  Nigeria (NAN) reported that the bodies,  which  came together for the exercise,  were the Ogun branches of the Ophthalmology Society of Nigeria; Nigerian Ophthalmic Nurses Association; and the Nigerian Optometrist Association.

The Chairman of the Ophthalmology Society of Nigeria, Dr Olatoni Onabolu, disclosed this at a press briefing in Sagamu to commemorate this year’s World Sight Day with the theme,  ``Common Eye Diseases in Children.’’

The exercise was carried out at Yewa North and Ogun Waterside local government areas of the state and was conducted for pupils in primary one and primary six as well as Junior Secondary School 3.

Onabolu said  the choice of the location was  informed by the need to reach out to children living at “ under-served” communities in the state as well as create more awareness on how to prevent blindness.

She identified “refractive errors” as the most common cause of blindness among youngsters, saying that most of them were preventable.

Onabolu added that free glasses were distributed to some of the affected children during the exercise  while others with severe cases were asked to visit the hospital.

``It is a good cause of immense benefit to the society that children should see well and be beneficial to the community and the nation at large.

``The major essence is to reach out to the community and prevent the spread of eye problems. About 75 to 80 per cent of these problems are preventable and curable.

``Majority of them are even avoidable, if only people are better educated on how to prevent them.

``We all know that children talk a lot. By focusing on them, they will be able to tell their parents, so that they can now know how to take care of them,'' she said.

The World Sight Day is aimed at reducing the number of blind people and focusing   attention on preventable and treatable blindness.

Also speaking, Dr Bunmi Bodunde, a Paediatric Ophthalmologist  stressed the need for mothers to immunise their wards, saying “un-immunised” children are susceptible to diseases which could cause blindness.

Bodunde, who is the Head of Department of Ophthalmology Department of the Olabisi Onabanjo Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, advised that teachers should desist from beating children on the upper part of their body.

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