More than five hundred Nigerians have received free eye care services in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, southern Nigeria.
The people received the treatment at a city wide campaign organized by the Cross Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, Nigerian Optometric Association and the Nigerian Ophthalmic Nurses as well as the Association of Nigerian Dispensing Opticians.
In a brief remark to kick off service delivery, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Henry Ayuk noted that eye health was important to every living being and should not be taken for granted.
According to him, there was need for people to get their eyes periodically checked to prevent certain diseases and eventual blindness, stressing, “The eye is so important that if given the choice, many people would prefer to see. Eye health is so important that the world choose to agree to celebrate World Sight Day on 2nd Thursday in October yearly.”
He commended the healthcare practitioners for embarking on a road show to create awareness on the importance of regular checkup and for devoting their time and energy to treat hundreds of residents across Calabar metropolis.
The Commissioner further encouraged the people to take advantage of the free treatment and have their eyes checked and if necessary, receive medication that would enhance their sight.
Speaking in an interview newsmen, an ophthalmic nurse, Mrs. Offiong Okokon explained that the 2023 theme of the World Sight Day, “Love Your Eyes At Work” was a call on people, especially those who work around computers, using different types of lights, media practitioners and others, to give attention to their eye health.
Okokokn said “The exercise we urge people to do especially those who are on the computers, their phone and any monitor, is what we can the ’20-20-20’ eye exercise.
“It involves timing yourself, keeping a clock beside you so that when you work for 20 minutes, remove your eyes from the screen for 20 seconds and then look 20 metres away before you return to your work. The exercise helps a lot because what damages the eyes at work is the amount of light that gets into the eyes,” she stated.
While reiterating the importance of regular checks, she added that certain disease conditions such as diabetes and hypertension affects the eyes as well as urged people to avoid putting engine oil, breast milk, anointing oil, leaves, urine and other unhealthy items into the eyes as such may result to permanent blindness.