9th October, 2018
The Nigeria Optometrists Association (NOA), has tasked both Federal and state governments to put in place necessary mechanisms to ensure that rural dwellers benefit from adequate eye care.
The Chairman of NOA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr Emmanuel Asogwa made the call in Enugu on Tuesday during a courtesy visit to the Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Dr Fintan Ekochin.
Asogwa said measures like employment of more optometrists and support from the government would enable Nigeria to meet the eye care needs of the people especially as it planned to celebrate the 2018 World Sight Day on Oct. 11.
He pleaded with the commissioner and the state government to employ more optometrists in order to reach the 17 local government areas of the state to reduce vision impairment rate in the state.
Asogwa also seized the opportunity to inundate the commissioner of the upcoming World sight day and the action plans of NOAESC.
“The World Sight day will be taking place on Thursday, October 11, 2018, and this year’s theme is ‘Eyecare Everywhere.’
“The theme is a call to action aimed at rallying the support of government and the media in meeting meet up with the WHO’s 2020 vision.
“If eye care is to be taken to every nook and cranny, optometrists must also be everywhere not someplace.
“This year, NOAESC has mapped out activities such as awareness campaign, advocacy, free vision screening, health talk, road show, seminars and career counselling.
“All these are geared towards raising public awareness of vision impairment and blindness as major public health issue,” he said.
The NOAESC chairman also appreciated the effort of the commissioner and the state government at ensuring and providing optimum health for the people of the state.
Asogwa said he was particularly impressed with the overwhelming support NOAESC got from the state government and the ministry of health during its programme tagged, `My right, my Sight’ free eye care initiative.
Responding, the Health Commissioner, Dr. Ekochin pledged the continuous support of his ministry and the state government to the association.
He said the governor took the health of the people as a priority and would not stop at supporting health programmes that benefitted the people.
The chairman was in the company of the Chief Optometrist, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Dr Felix Oguama and the Chairperson, Women Optometrists in Nigeria (WON) Enugu Chapter, Dr. Ngozi Eze.
The day, initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000, is an advocacy event for raising awareness about vision impairment in line with its VISION 2020.
The Vision 2020: The Right to Sight of WHO has as its main objectives identifying and securing the crucial resources for providing an enhanced level of treatment and prevention programmes.
Others include promoting the development and implementation of Vision 2020 strategies with the help of National Programmes as well as avoiding eye problems among people.