No fewer than 200 people have benefitted from the latest phase of the Lagos State Government sponsored Free Eye Surgery Outreach programme aimed at improving the quality of life of the beneficiaries by restoring their vision through surgical intervention.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris who visited the latest set of beneficiaries at the General Hospital, Badagry venue of the surgical intervention stated that the programme is significant and defining in the lives of citizens who suffer from eye ailments requiring surgery like cataract and pterygium.
Idris, who was represented by the Director, Medical Administration, Training and Programmes in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi added that free eye-screening and surgery outreach programme is one of the State Government’s blindness prevention programmes to reduce avoidable blindness in Lagos.
According to him, “75% of blindness all over the world can actually be prevented or treated, and the main causes of avoidable blindness and serious visual loss are uncorrected refractive errors, un-operated cataract amongst others”.
“This is why the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Health is intensifying its blindness prevention programme activities which include community outreaches, school eye screening programme, free surgical interventions and provision of free eyeglasses and medication in-order to reduced avoidable blindness in the State” he added.
The Commissioner explained that the Ministry of Health in its quest to reduce avoidable blindness has visited six local government areas since the beginning of the year on blindness prevention screening and awareness outreaches.
He revealed that public schools have also been visited while free corrective eyeglasses have been given to pupils who require them to aid their vision.
While urging the latest set of beneficiaries to take good care of their eyes, he stressed that post-operative care is as important as the surgery they had undergone and encouraged them to visit the recommended health facility for follow up care.
“Do not engage in strenuous activities; avoid bending down, robbing your eyes and using un-prescribed medications. Adopting good personal hygiene and environmental sanitation is key in the process to full recovery”, he noted.
On his part, the Medical Director, Badagry General Hospital, Dr. Opeyemi Aihonsu, noted that the General Hospital Badagry has an eye clinic that has been standardized and equipped in such a way that all services required for investigations, medical and surgical treatment of common blinding conditions can be accessed.
Dr. Aihonsu thanked the Lagos State Governor for supporting the drive to ensure reduction of avoidable blindness in the State and disclosed that the eye unit in Badagry Hospital has competent personnel who can take care of the post-operative management of patients.
“We have consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic nurses and other eye care staff and we make bold to say we are ready to take care of the post-operative management of patients referred to us for follow up”, he said