• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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World Glaucoma: MWAN counsels Nigerians on regular eye screening

World Glaucoma

The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) has called on Nigerians to go for regular eye screening, warning that glaucoma causes irreversible blindness.

Mosunmola Folorunsho, Medical Doctor and President of MWAN, Kwara State Chapter made the call Wednesday at the ongoing free eye screening organised by the association in conjunction with Department of Ophthalmology of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).

According to her, glaucoma is “one of the common causes of blindness in Nigeria that silently takes away the vision”, adding that people who are 40 years above should ensure regular eye screening at least twice a year.

She notes that the free eye screening is part of the activities for the World Glaucoma Week, adding that glaucoma is prevalent and symptomatic, as people don’t know about it until it gets to advanced stage.

World Glaucoma Week she says is a unique initiative to help those with an interest in improved eye health to understand the devastating effects of a condition that could affect many people.

The MWAN President explained that with routine eye examination at least twice a year, people can avert glaucoma and prevent irreversible blindness.

Over 250 people according to her have so far taken the advantage of the free eye screening at UITH to get their eyes checked.

Also speaking at the sidelines of the free eye screening, Tokunbo Obajolowo, a Consultant Ophthalmologist of the UlTH, noted that though glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness, however, it can be prevented with early detection.

“The disease itself may not be preventable but the emphasis is to detect early and arrest the situation. People should get the eyes checked early enough for our intervention make a difference,” she said.

Obajolowo, explained that there is no known cause of glaucoma even though some type runs in some families, advising people who are diabetic, hypertensive and people above 40 to routinely check their eyes.

The Ophthalmologist quoted that according to the National Survey of blindness 2006, out of people above ages 40 in Nigeria, 16.9 percent of those that are blind is from glaucoma.

She says: “To take the figure in context, of the people 40 years and above, half of them about 48 percent are blind from cataract, but of all of the group that are blind from cataract, if they get cataract surgery, they immediately move out of the blind group into the seeing group because cataract blindness can be corrected.

“But the blindness from glaucoma is irreversible and people get permanently blind.”

Obajolowo, reveals that the free eye screening affords people opportunity to get their eyes screened and that those who required surgery will get it at a subsidized price of N15, 000.

The expert disclosed that the Department of Ophthalmology decided to subsidize the price to assist about 30 indigent patient who unable to afford the surgical intervention.

Obajolowo, appealed to government at all levels to increase awareness on dangers of glaucoma and also to subsidize the price for surgical interventions, as well as rehabilitating those that get blind from glaucoma.

 

SIKIRAT SHEHU, Ilorin