World glaucoma week: LASG holds awareness walk

By Doris Obinna

Lagos State Government has warned citizens to avoid patronising unqualified eye health care personnel and quacks while seeking eye health care services. This is just as the State government advocated the need for regular eye checks to prevent irreversible blindness that may be caused by glaucoma and other blinding conditions. 

The walk, organised by the State Ministry of Health is to commemorate the year 2022 World glaucoma week in Lagos.

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The permanent secretary, ministry of health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye explained that patronage of unqualified eye health professionals for eye care services is inimical to the efforts being made by government and relevant stakeholders to reduce the prevalence of avoidable blinding eye conditions.

Ogboye noted that the theme of the year 2022 world glaucoma week: “The world is bright save your sight,” brings to fore the need for citizens to take responsibility and good care of their eyes to prevent vision impairment and irreversible blindness which is caused by glaucoma and other blinding eye conditions.

He said: “The eye is a very delicate organ in the body that requires proper attention and treatment by licensed eye healthcare professionals. The eye is such a precious gift to all human beings and it is something we must pay particular attention to.

“I would say to anybody that patronises quacks for their eye health care needs to make a re-evaluation of how important their eyes are. I know how important my eyes are to me, and I definitely won’t be submitting it to just anybody to look at and I certainly won’t be inserting any fluid or drug that is not recommended.”

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Ogboye stated that the awareness walk organised by the Ministry of Health to commemorate this year’s world glaucoma week is targeted towards creating awareness and sensitizing the populace on the dangers of glaucoma as a silent killer of the sight.

“Glaucoma is one of those blinding eye conditions that just creep against you. You may not even be aware it is happening to you until you lose your sight. Glaucoma has to do with raised intraocular pressure which changes the shape of the eyeball in a way that forces it to detach from the nerve at the back of the eyes that transmits images through to the brain, and so ones that is detached, there is no way anybody can correct it.

“This is one case where prevention is much better than cure. And the best way to prevent it is to make sure you get your eyes pressure checked regularly, at least once a year. That helps you know whether the pressure in your eyes is high before you start to have advanced glaucoma, impaired vision or loss of vision,” he explained.

On her part, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Director, Medical Administration, Training and Programs, Ministry of Health, Dr Funmilayo Shokunbi explained that blindness caused by glaucoma is irreversible and has no cure but can be successfully managed if detected early enough.

Emphasizing the need for regular eye check as preventive measure against glaucoma, Shokunbi said that citizens who are over age 40, have family members with glaucoma, have high intraocular (eye) pressure or have had an eye injury or eye surgery are at risk of glaucoma.

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