Medical experts have tasked citizens with the need to engage professional eye care practitioners for regular, periodic eye checks and treatment services to prevent avoidable blindness and preserve eyesight.
This was made known recently during a public symposium organized by the Ministry of Health through the Blindness Prevention Program Unit to commemorate 2021 World Sight Day in Lagos State.
Speaking at the symposium, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye, said that citizens should always avail themselves of periodic eye checks in order to detect eye 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 sensitizing 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 is helping to preserve citizens vision.
He added that the government is doing everything necessary in reducing avoidable blindness by ensuring that defects that lead to blindness are prevented and properly managed.
“A lot of cases of blindness are preventable. The whole point of what we are trying to achieve with the whole work that is going on 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 Programs, Dr Funmilayo Shokunbi advised citizens to take the issue of eye care seriously and ensure good personal hygiene and eating foods rich in vitamins A, D, C, E and 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 healthily and adopt a healthy living,” she said.
In her lecture, a consultant opthalmologist, Prof. Folashade Akinsola, emphasized that residents should seek help only from professionals and from approved eye hospitals or clinics for their care needs. She stressed that patronizing unqualified personnel may cause irreversible damage to the eye.
She also urged 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.