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Make eye screening compulsory from age three, expert advises govt

By Waliat Musa
18 October 2022   |   3:55 am
Director, Viewpoint Specialist Eye Centre, Dr. Agatha Afolabi, has urged the Federal Government to legally make eye screening compulsory from age three.

Director, Viewpoint Specialist Eye Centre, Dr. Agatha Afolabi, has urged the Federal Government to legally make eye screening compulsory from age three.

The expert also canvassed proper eye care to promote vision, even as she advised Nigerians to undergo yearly checks, especially those above 40 years.

A statement, yesterday, by the centre, quoted her as making the appeals at Ilupeju Secondary School, Lagos during an eye-screening outreach organised by Ogundipe Memorial Foundation.

Afolabi said it was necessary to educate Nigerians on the need to love and take care of their eyes for normal vision development.

Her words: “So many people are not aware about checking their eyes. The theme for this year’s World Sight Day was ‘Love your eyes’. So many people say they love their eyes but fail to do regular checks.

“The vision screening among students was properly chosen to bring to the fore the necessity of checking and caring for the eye. This would promote normal vision development among students and enhance their academic performance.

“We screened over 1,000 students and made glasses’ provision where applicable. Medical care regarding proper nurturing of the eyes was conducted and students with defect were given lenses to remedy the situation.”

The medic lamented the inability of developing nations to offer free eye checks, urging governments to strike partnerships with schools and hospitals for students to be screened for proper vision.

Citing statistics, Afolabi declared: “Globally, 90 million children have diffractive error and there’s need for them to wear glasses but because of lack of access, especially for developing countries, they do not get their eyes checked and as such, lack the knowledge of any presence of defect.

“There are multiple causes of vision loss. There’s glaucoma, which is the leading cause for blindness in the world, there’s cataract, which can be congenital in children.”

Among events featured on the day included essay writing and awards. Education grants were given to outstanding students, while writing materials, toiletries and a vision chart were presented to the school.

One of the beneficiaries, a JSS 2 student, Oladokun Serah, lauded the organisers, saying: “My eyes are in better shape now after I was issued glasses to correct my eye defect. I can see clearly now. I’m indeed very happy and grateful to the foundation.”