Sunday, February 3, 2019

Corps Member Distributes Free Eye Glasses, Visual Acuity Charts to Kogi Students

... Launches Operation Zero Blindness

By David Fidelis

It was a moment of smiles and excitement on the faces of students of Kogi State yesterday as a medical Corps Member, Dr. Alabi Boluwaji Vincent with State code KG/ 18A/ 0445 shared over 50 medicated eye glasses and 5 Visual Acuity Charts to students with eye challenge(s) in the state.

Dr Alabi distributed the glasses  to the visually challenged students of St. Thomas Acquinas  Secondary School, Lokoja; Muslim Community Secondary School, Lokoja; Anglican Nursery and Primary School, Islamiya Primary School and Army Day Primary School, Lokoja respectively as his personal Community Development Service  ( CDS) Project.

The event which was held at the NYSC State Secretariat, Lokongoma, Lokoja had in attendance, the Kogi State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs Oludolapo Ahile, the Zonal Inspector, Mr. Etsu Muazu Idris; Kogi State commissioner for Health ably represented by Dr. Suleiman; Special Adviser to Kogi State Governor on Multilateral, Donor and Special Project, represented by Mr Emmanuel Oloniyo; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Pastor Emmanuel Idehin among others.

In his speech, Dr. Alabi noted that global estimate by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 shows that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of vision impairment in which 188.5 million people have mild vision impairment, 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment, and 36 million people blind, also with regards to near vision, 826 million live with near vision impairment hence the need for him to laugh operation Zero blindness in Kogi State.

According to him, he has been sensitizing the people on the ways to keep their eyes safe and ensuring that the free eye care gets to every doorstep.

According to him, he's not only focusing on school children alone as he had also extended the gesture to the physically challenged, parents among others across the state.

Dr Alabi pointed that since the government cannot be everywhere, he has determined to put up his best towards ensuring eradication and elimination of blindness by 2020.

Dr Alabi advised people over 40years  to have their eyes checked every two years and people over 60years to have their eyes checked every year.

In her address, the Kogi State Coordinator of NYSC, Mrs Oludolapo Ahile commended Dr Alabi for the initiative, describing it as a right step in the right direction.

Oludolapo said Dr Alabi has keyed into one of the cardinal programmes of NYSC pointing that by his magnanimous gesture of distributing the glasses to the visually challenged, he has impacted on the health, social, spiritual, educational and social - economic well - being and development of his host community.

The coordinator singlehandedly supported the idea with N20, 000  appreciated him for the innitiative and magnanimity, pouring encomium on him and noting that his name has been written on the marble in the state, stressing that history will not forget him.

"I believe that these people who benefited from your initiative will continually be greatful to him".

According to her, other corps members should emulate Dr Alabi by giving back to there host communities in the areas of economic empowerment, poverty eradication, social services, social cultural regeneration, health care, agriculture, sports among others.

Oludolapo pleaded with Kogi State government through the Commissioner of Health to to provide a platform for the corps member to translate the Zero Blindness and  Path - Finder foundation to a concrete initiative in order to better the lives of people in the state

Delivering her lecture, on the theme: "Causes and Prevention of Avoidable Blindness", Mrs Hannah Fashona said eye ailments could be caused by infections, cataracts, glaucoma, injury, and inability to obtain any glasses, vitamin A deficiency, retinopathy of prematurity, blood vessel diseases involving the retina or optic nerve including stroke, infectious diseases of the cornea or retina, ocular inflammatory disease, retinitis pigmentosa, primary or secondary malignancies of the eye, congenital abnormalities, hereditary diseases of the eye, and chemical poisoning from toxic agents such as methanol.

Mrs. Hannah advised  people having signs and symptoms of blindness such as discomfort in the eyes, awareness of the eyes, foreign body sensation, and pain in the eyes or discharge from the eyes to consult an optometrist or Ophthalmologist for examination, diagnosis and possible treatment.

The event featured launching of  Path -Finder Foundation International aimed at  providing eye care services to population group having little or no access to eye care services; giving support to the efforts of the government in the area of health/eye care; giving basic knowledge on the importance of eye care and ultimately ensuring zero blindness in Kogi state and Nigeria at large.

Pictures below;

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