… As Lagos Offers Free Eye Screening to Members of NUJ, NUT, NUAAE

… Holds Awareness Walk

Over 650,000 people in Lagos have benefited from free eye screening, care and management, including, free eye surgeries, eyeglasses and eye medications under the auspices of Lagos State Government’s Blindness Prevention Programme, since the inception of the programme in the year 2001. 

Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye disclosed this recently during a free eye screening programme organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Health for members of some professional associations, including Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Nigerian Union of Agricultural and Allied Employees (NUAAE) as part of activities to commemorate Y2023 World Sight Day in the State.

Presenting free eyeglasses to some journalists at the Secretariat of the Lagos Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Alausa-Ikeja, Ogboye explained that the programme was initiated by the Lagos State Government as part of efforts to prevent, reduce and reverse the burden and prevalence of avoidable blindness in Lagos State.

He stated that the latest free eye screening and eye health education exercise organised for members of NUJ, NUT, and NUAAE as part of activities for the Y2023 World Sight Day was targeted at screening members of the professional associations and workers for refractive errors, eye allergies and enlighten them on how they can take good care of their eyes to maintain their status as productive members of the society.

The Permanent Secretary added that the State Government has provided free eyeglasses to correct refractive errors for workers who require it, stressing that those screened and detected to have complicated eye conditions, would be referred for further care and management at any of the Government’s General Hospitals. 

While noting that the exercise was organised in collaboration with the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria; Nigerian Optometric Association; Nigerian Ophthalmic Nurses Association and the Association of Nigerian Dispensing Opticians, Ogboye disclosed that the theme of Y2023 World Sight Day: “Love Your Eyes at Work”, informed the need to take eye health education and the free eye screening exercise to the members of the professional associations who represent the population of the average Nigeria workers.

He stated that the theme of World Sight Day was apt, particularly as loss of sight can affect an individual’s productivity and functionality in society, thus, prompting the need for workers to prioritise their eyes’ health by adopting good eye care practices to prevent avoidable blindness, and to encourage employers to make eye health care initiatives standard practice in the workplace by providing quality eye care to their employees.

He said: “The Y2023 World Sight Day theme: “Love Your Eyes at Work” is well thought out; workers must learn to protect their eyes, particularly from injuries in the course of their day-to-day activities, because the eye is a delicate organ of the body which requires proper attention and care. Citizens need to be constantly reminded of how important the eyes are, to remain productive on the job”.

The Permanent Secretary urged all residents to take advantage of the messages of this year’s World Sight Day commemoration to protect and care for their eyes properly and adopt good eye health practices by presenting themselves for regular eye checks at government-accredited eye care facilities whilst also availing themselves of the free screening offered by the State Government periodically through the Blindness Prevention Programme.

Ogboye, while reiterating the commitment of Governor Sanwo-Olu-led administration to championing and implementing programmes and policies aimed at preventing blindness, stated that the present administration recognises the importance of good eye health to the productivity and functionality of workers and the growth of the economy.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director of Medical Administration, Training and Programmes, Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi, urged workers to prioritise and take charge of their eye health, noting that the productivity of individuals in workplaces is determined by how good their vision is.

Shokunbi advised further that workers must endeavour to protect their eyes from injuries by wearing appropriate protective goggles when working with computers and tablets, adding that goggles can also protect the eyes from radiations from sunlight which can cause problems to the eyes. She, however, encouraged all those above the age of 40 to cheek their eyes at least once in two years. 

A beneficiary, Mrs Medina Salam who appreciated the State Government for bringing quality eye care services to the doorsteps of workers, stated that the free eye screening has allowed her to know the condition of her eyes.

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