5 million Nigerians to get free eye treatment

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Prof. Ebele Uzodike, Registrar/CEO, ODORBN with some staff from ODORBN and Ministry of Health after road trip to raise awareness about eye health care, Abuja

Tolu Aiyegbusi

The Dispensing Optometrists and Opticians Registration Board of Nigeria (ODORBN) has said it will provide free eye screening and treatment to at least five million Nigerians in October.

Prof. Ebele Uzodike, the Registrar/CEO of ODORBN, said so on Thursday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the council’s activities to commemorate World Sight Day.

NAN reports that World Sight Day is an international awareness day held every second Thursday in October to draw attention to the global issue of eye health.

She said the council had since last week started free eye care, free diagnosis and free treatment at its medical centers nationwide.

“Free eye checks and treatment, especially in rural areas, are part of our commitments to celebrate the day and screening, diagnosis and treatment are free.

“Last week we started our nationwide awareness and eye screening activities and our goal is to reach at least 5 million people.

“Let all Nigerians also seize the opportunity of a free eye exam at all optometry clinics in Nigeria in the month of October,” she urged.

Uzodike said the focus for drivers was on keeping lives safe while doing their jobs and ensuring comprehensive eye care was accessible to everyone.

“We have started the campaigns in car parks and we will reach our target via our eye care centres.

“Per instructions from the Ministry of Health, we started with drivers because they need to prioritize their eye care before hitting the road,” she said.

Uzodike also said that one of the goals of this year’s campaign is to reach out to policy makers in the eye care sector and raise awareness of the need for effective eye health policy development.

“For years we have targeted rural areas for free eye care and treatment, this time we will also raise awareness among policy makers, as the policies they make and implement impact the masses.

“Some people don’t know they have eye problems, but after having them examined and diagnosed, they would be able to come up with very effective and important policies,” she said.

She praised the federal government for forming National Eye Committees, a move replicated in states and primary health care centers…

The Registrar, who reiterated the Board’s continued commitment to supporting eye associations, also urged Nigerians to practice proper eye hygiene and seek out professionals for proper eye treatments.

According to her, “so many people are unaware of the systematic relationship between poor eye care and diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

NAN reports that the theme for this year’s World Sight Day is “Love Your Eyes”.

It is a day that reminds everyone of the importance of health care, eye protection and keeping them healthy. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani

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