Efforts to Curtail Childhood Blindness

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Worried by the spate of tendencies of turning blind among children in Osun State, The Osun State Eye Health Committee has intensified efforts in tackling the situation to help children protect their eyes and have good sight. As part of its deliberate efforts to achieve this, the committee, in collaboration with a community based non-profit organisation, Community Advancement Initiative for Self-Reliance (CAI4SR) took eye health outreach to various rural communities across the state.  The committee comprises health workers including medical doctors drawn from the state ministry of health, education specialists selected from the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and other stakeholders picked from different walks of life. At the palace of Aragbiji of Aragbiji, Oba AbdulRasheed Olabomi, the committee spent a whole day attending to children from Iragbiji and its neighboring communities. Also, some elderly persons took advantage to the eye health outreach to treat their eyes, get medication while those with severe cases were referred to the state hospital in Osogbo, the state capital. 

The Executive Director of CAI4SR who is also the implementing partner of the Seeing Is Believing project in Osun state, Mrs. Eni Ayeni said the eye health outreach was part of events to commemorate the 2019 World Sight Day with the theme: “Vision First”. 

She said “This is part of moves to detect eye problems among the school pupils and prevent childhood blindness. We are doing this with the support of ChristoffelBlinden Mission (CBM ) UK under the flagship programme of Standard Chartered Bank, Seeing  is Believing (SiB). At least, we have conducted eye screening for 159,487 school pupils and distributed over 1,500 free spectacles to children in Osun state” She added that in order to ensure prompt eye treatment in Osun State, low vision devices worth 10 million Naira were provided for the State Specialist hospital Asubiaro in Osogbo and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Hospital Ipetumodu which are the two focal secondary facilities for the project in the state.