The Lagos State Government has once more emphasized the need for people to embrace healthy living habits and appropriate eye care practices as part of efforts to prevent avoidable blindness and vision loss.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, explained at a Press Briefing to herald the activities commemorating the Year 2022 World Sight Day in Lagos State that citizens should improve the care of their eyes by eating healthy diets, going for regular eye checks, protecting the eyes from injury and trauma, avoiding self-medication, avoiding quacks, and wearing sunglasses that offer UV protection to prevent radiation from the sun prone to damaging the eyes.
Abayomi emphasised the need of raising awareness and drawing attention to eye care, which is a local and global health concern that cannot be overstated because how healthy the eyes are affects an individual’s quality of life.
In his words: “There is so much to see in this beautiful world but this is only possible if your eyes are in good condition. The occasion of the year 2022 World Sight Day, presents another opportunity to remind you that you must all give attention to your vision by protecting your eyesight, which is of extreme importance.
“The theme for this year’s World Sight Day: ‘Love Your Eyes, Save Lives’ is a reminder for everyone to love their eyes, protect them and give attention to their vision.”
The Commissioner stated that the State Government would step up its eye healthcare education, sensitization, and enlightenment programs, particularly in rural and riverine communities and hard-to-reach areas, to enhance citizens’ awareness of blindness prevention and excellent eye care practices. He stated that this would be accomplished through community and rural outreach initiatives.
He noted that common diseases like sickle cell, high blood pressure and diabetes, if not detected early and treated by a medical professional, can affect and cause severe damage to the eyes.
The Commissioner explained that the Lagos State Government, in recognition of the importance of eye care, has continued to champion and implement programmes and policies aimed at blindness prevention and good sight for citizens.
He disclosed that the State Government through its Blindness Prevention Programme has screened over 600,000 people for eye defects, offered free eyeglasses to 240,000 citizens and provided free surgical intervention to 30,000 others across the state.
Speaking about commemorative events, the Ministry of Health’s Director of Medical Administration, Training, and Programs, Dr. Olufunmilayo Shokunbi, revealed that in addition to a press conference to raise awareness of the need for citizens to take good care of their eyes, the Ministry will also provide free eye exams and free eyeglasses to those with refractive conditions through its Blindness Prevention Program Unit.