Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
About 5,000 children between ages zero to five years have been immunised in the free eye vision screening exercise put in place by the Kwara State government in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Already, five immunisation centres have been earmarked for the exercise in the state so as to assist the children in checking their eyes and get them immunised against eye diseases.
They are Children Specialist Hospital, Centre Igboro, Ilorin, DHC Afon, UITH Permanent site, Oke Ose, Ilorin, UITH Maternity Clinic at Amilegbe, Ilorin and Sobi Specialist Hospital, Alagbado, Ilorin.
The wife of the state governor, Deaconess Omolewa Ahmed, who spoke with journalists in Ilorin recently during the campaign tour and assessment visit of the exercise at Specialist Hospital, Centre- Igboro in Ilorin South Local Government Area of the state, said the free eye screening exercise would go a long way in detecting eye diseases among the children.
She also advocated for enforcement of free eye screening law to ensure all mothers take their children to health facilities for vision screening before enrollment in government schools.
The First Lady, who said the campaign was embarked on to influence immunisation on children, as well as vision screening, added that all ministries in the state would be made to key into the programme.
She also explained that recently, over 200 blind citizens were empowered and N150,000 cheques given to each of them to help in their trade.
Also speaking at the event, an Ophthalmologist with University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Dupe Ademola-Popoola, explained that the state government had enacted law that makes vision screening compulsory for children zero to five years.
She said that because of the effort of the state government, a foundation; the USAID has shown interest in the project where they donated some equipment worth thousands of dollars to the state.
Ademola-Popoola pointed out that a survey of 100 blind people carried out in the state suggested that, seven out of 10 were blind from childhood, while being hidden in that condition, till they are old enough to come out to beg for a living.
She therefore said that, about 2, 500 children had so far been examined and some referral have been made to General Hospital in the state while four children were however, diagnosed with blindness due to premature birth.
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin