Over 1,000 Ogun Students Benefit From Free Eye Screening
By Olu Osikoya
More than 1000 students have benefitted from free eye screening in selected junior secondary schools in the three Senatorial Districts of Ogun State in commemoration of the 2021 World Sight Day.
A Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Oluwatoni Onabolu while speaking in Abeokuta, during the screening exercise organised by the State Committee on Eye Health in collaboration with the Ogun Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHCDB) said the move was to identify the visual perception of students at the junior secondary classes, noting that visual impairment affects learning and overall academic performance.
Dr. Onabolu who is also the Vice Chairman of the Committee, stated that limited access to eye care especially from childhood, among low-and middle-income earners were among the causes of the rising numbers of people living with vision impairment, stressing that there is need to take eye care more seriously right from the young age.
The Ophthalmologist, who spoke on the theme of the year ” Love Your Eyes” charged the students to put the care of their eyes first in their general well-being, admonishing them to shun all acts that could endanger their sight.
Also speaking, the State Coordinator for Eye Health, OGPHCDB, Mr. Tola Aina, said the day was set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international health agencies, to create awareness on the causes and prevention of blindness and visual impairments, emphasising that eye health needed to be accepted as part of their well-being and overall health.
Aina explained that out of the 1020 students screened, 91 of them were given eye glasses and 156 received medications to treat and manage eye defects, while some others were referred for further assessment and care in government health facilities closest to them.
Contributing, a Co-Ophthalmologist, Dr. Emmanuel Braimoh cited the need to make eye care an integral part of primary health care, implement integrated people-centred eye care in health systems, as well as promote high quality implementation and research to complement existing evidence for effective eye care interventions, calling on government at all levels to ensure people in the rural areas were adequately captured in all its eye health programmes.
Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Grace Jonah and Omotade Adeyinka respectively appreciated the State government for making their eye health paramount, promising to ensure they take proper care of their eyes.
Schools visited include, St. John’s Anglican High School, Kuto, Abeokuta, Yewa College, Ilaro and Methodist Comprehensive College Ijokun, Sagamu.