World glaucoma week: Abia government kicks off free glaucoma screening and treatment



As the world gathers to commemorate this year glaucoma week with the theme, uniting for a glaucoma free world, Abia state government in collaboration with the ministry of health has taken proactive measures to provide free glaucoma screening exercise across her health facilities statewide.

The wife of the Governor, Mrs. Priscilla Otti who led stakeholders in a statewide walk to create awareness on the dangers of glaucoma described the disease as a thief of vision and the leading cause of blindness.

Mrs. Otti represented by the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adaeze Emetu, explained that statistics has revealed that a staggering 80 million individuals worldwide suffer from glaucoma, with an alarming 50% unaware of their condition.

She said the insidious disease, often asymptomatic in its early stages, can inflict irreparable damage, therefore regular eye check and early detection is the key to prevent loss of sight.

According to her, “this year’s theme underscores our shared responsibility in mobilizing communities worldwide to join forces in the battle against glaucoma-induced blindness” she said.

Mrs. Otti further, called on Abians to engage actively and partake in the initiatives orchestrated within Abia state by Gov. Otti to combat this formidable adversary by constantly having our sight checked and endeavor to raise awareness to deepen our understanding of glaucoma.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ify Uma, advised all to ensure regular eye check by specialist to prevent glaucoma from further damage to their eyes.

She called on government to extend her eye care centres to the rural areas.

In her address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Special Duties, Dr. Betty Emeka Obasi said they engaged in walk for sight to create awareness on the debilitating disease call glaucoma.

Dr. Betty noted that glaucoma when diagnosed is irreversible but early detection and treatment is key to prevent loss of sight.

Meanwhile in a lecture series, a consultant ophthalmologist, Dr Anya O. Anya had expressed that glaucoma comes without symptoms and advised anybody above the age of 40, to have their eyes regularly checked.

He said that it is not enough to know that you have glaucoma but taking your medications rigiciously will prevent further damage to the eyes.

Dr. Anya, however commended Governor Alex Otti, for revamping the health sector adding that he look forward to seeing such achievement in the rural areas.