World Sight Day: 80% of eye problems are avoidable — NOA

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By Racheal Oyelola

The Nigerian Optometric Association, NOA, Imo State chapter, has said 80 percent of eye problems are avoidable as the world marked World Sight Day, WSD, on Thursday.

The association said a survey carried out in six communities in Imo State revealed that 39 percent of the population are visually impaired while 6.9 percent are completely blind.

The group explained that the WSD is an international day of awareness on avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

Speaking to journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Wednesday, the Association Chairman, Dr. Chinaka Nwosu said it’s a day set aside to sensitize the general public on the role of eye care services and maintaining a good vision.

The optometrist association cautioned Nigerians against not taking proper care of their eyes considering the importance of the eye to mankind.

The group noted challenges, as well as vision impairment, saying it’s on record that over 36 million people are blind across the world.

The group further revealed that 80 percent of eye ailments can be avoided if people desist from some harmful practices and eating a proper diet.

It advised people on the need to take proper care of their eyes and go for an eye examination as early detection saves the sight.

According to the group, “We will seize the opportunity to collate data of visual needs, this will give policymakers insight as regards the health care system.

“The government should employ more optometrists in the various LGAS of the state to cater for the needs of the grassroots.”

On the activities of quacks, the association cautioned the public to be aware of people who parade themselves as opticians, this he said will help save the sight.

According to the group, “The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Love your Eyes’ and the slogan is ‘Save Your Sight.’

The programme will run for a week with various activities lined up which includes, advocacy visit to various agencies and organisations, school eyesight programme which will make it compulsory for each child to go through vision testing and other activities.”