19 October 2017

Nigeria: Why Ignorance Is Major Cause of Blindness, By Ophthalmologists

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(file photo).

*As Me Cure offers free eye test, consultation

With 80 percent of blindness been avoidable and preventable, the burden of preventive blindness is now a public health concern. A Consultant Ophthalmologist and Chief Operating Officer of Me Cure Eye Centre, Dr. Adegboyega Alabi stated this, as the centre commemorated the World Sight Day (WSD)

The day, which is celebrated every second Thursday of October, is a global event that focuses on bringing attention to the burden of blindness and visual impairment, with this years theme: 'Make Vision Count'.

According to Dr. Alabi, ignorance has led most people to total blindness while some are being ostracized for an ailment that could be treated, even as he warned against patronizing quacks to do couching for those suffering from Glaucoma, which is one of the leading causes of blindness.

"We discover a lot of people are not aware that there is a proper and standard treatment for cataract. We see people being blind from cataract for several years and they are just kept in one room somewhere, ostracized from the community.

"Sometimes when they now come to us we will wonder and they will be telling us they have been afflicted with it for five years and when they have the appropriate treatment they will start seeing then they will be excited. That means they wasted four-five years of their life because that period that they were blind from cataract they were ostracized out of the society and some of them when they are treated it will be difficult for them to get reintegrated back into the society because they have be deprived of that opportunity and they've lost those period," he said.

He said the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) estimated that 30 million people are blind worldwide, while 260million have one form of visual impairment or the other, noting that 90 percent of these blind people are in developing world such as Nigeria and Africa at large, which brings the importance of celebrating the world sight day to create awareness and providing free eye test for the general public.

Meanwhile, over 100 individuals were screened during the Me Cure Eye Centre program with a significant number of eye diseases identified, which include: cataract, glaucoma, refractive error, diabetic retinopathy, allergy among others.

According to the Head of Strategy and Commercial, Me Cure, Dr. Kunle Megbuwawon, the screening was aimed at promoting good eye health and help in the reduction of the burden of avoidable blindness through the early detection of those common eye conditions that cause blindness and to make vision.

He, however, urged people to go for annual eye check up to avoid any form of vision impairment.

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