The Nigerian Optometrists Association (NOA) on Thursday said that 80 per cent causes of vision impairment in people in the world was preventable if detected earlier.
The National President of the Association, Dr Damian Echendu, said this in Abuja during the commemoration walk and public awareness on the need for routine eye check.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme for this year’s celebration is “Eye Care for All”.
NOA commemoration of the Day was in collaboration with International Lions Club, District 404A2, and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Echendu said the essence of the celebration was to drum support from stakeholders on eye care, ensuring that it was properly handled.
“ Today, World Sight Day is marked to drum support from stakeholders on eye care to ensure that causes of blindness is found out, detected and also efforts made in order to ensure that members of the public receive comprehensive eye care.
“We want to ensure that all those that have one problem or the other with their vision or their eye has access to eye care.
“So we are trying to ensure that access to eye care is readily available to the poor, the needy, the disabled, those that are in the rural areas, those that cannot be easily accessed either by way of road or good means of transport.
“So today has been earmarked for us to drum support for government to reach out, to bring out programmes that will help to ensure that comprehensive eye care is extended to the members of the public and have access.
“What we are saying is that people should be able to have their eye examined once every year, not just during vision screening but every year, at least you go to the eye clinic and have your eye examined.
“Vision contributes more than 80 per cent of what we do in life and there is no reason why we should not pay attention to it,” he said
However, the president urged the government to ensure that the Primary Eye Care centres across the country were equipped with facilities and man power to ensure maximum services.
The Deputy Director, Medical Services, NTA, Dr Damian Bai, said that most of the issues that caused blindness were preventable.
Bai lauded the efforts of the organisers of the programme, adding that NTA staff used their eyes a lot in the cause of their duties.
“There are simple eye ailments that are treatable, if caught very early, treatment is done and blindness can be prevented.
“You know that in the cause of our work we use our eyes a lot, we sit in front of monitors a lot, looking at images, visuals, our camera men they use their eyes a lot, because we need to move from one location to the other, our drivers also use their eyes a lot.
“So an occasion like this is for us to check our staff to make sure that their eyes are in top grade, if they have developed any eye ailment, or have started developing eye ailment, we nip it in the bud so that they don’t go blind.
“We expect that people should check their sights at least once every six months especially as you grow older, problems associated with blindness or loss or decrease in vision occurs more with advancing age, so as you progress in life it is important that you check your eye sight regularly,” he said.
According to Bai, there are ailments that come with age, like diabetes, hypertension which also affects the sight and it is important routine check-up is done to curb any adverse effects to the eyes.
The District 404A2 Chairperson, International Association of Lions Club, Mr Nse Ekefre, said people should not joke with their eyes, adding that it is dangerous to engage in self medication.
Ekefre advised that it was more beneficial for people to engage the services of experts concerning their sight.
NAN reports that the Day is marked on Oct. 8 yearly and is set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness on issues leading to blindness.

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