By: ENEJI, Simon Ushie.
Her Excellency, the wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Dr Linda Ayade has called for Cross Riverians to pay attention to their eyes, as the state joins the global community to mark the 2022 World Sight Day celebration, which is marked on every second Thursday of the month in October with this year’s event falling on the 13th of October 2022.
With an encouraging theme to “Love your eyes”, Dr Linda Ayade counselled that Cross Riverians need to eliminate every risks that can cause both temporary or permanent damages to their eyes which is the frame way to the body and the world.
Flagging off the occasion of the World Sight Day in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, the Wife of the Governor of Cross River State, Dr Linda Ayade who was represented by rhe Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong called for priority be given to the eyes just like mental, gynaecological, cardiac and other major organs are treated with priority.
According to Dr Linda Ayade, the timeliness of this year’s theme cannot be over emphasized as more people are loosing their sights daily due to negligence and preventable causes.
She said, the common eye challenges seen amongst Cross Riverians include Cataract, glachoma, refractive errors and retinopathy due to
diseases such as Diabetes, Hypertension and and some personal choice lifestyles which have been attributed to the rising causes of blindness across the globe, either partial or total as recorded by the World health Organization, and it is on the basis of rescuing the challenging eye health indices and alarming figure, that the Cross River State Government established the state eye care programme in Calabar with some other extension services at the grassroot to check common eyes defects and offer referral services when need arises.
She said the state government will continue to promote eye care services especially in the rural areas through community outreaches and proper referral as she acknowledged partners such as the Mediatrix Development foundation who have supported the state in reaching out to the aged in many rural Communities.
In her welcome address, the Director of the Cross River State Eye care programme Dr Luna Said, judging by global indices of having close to 300 million people suffering from various eyes defects, over 90% are avoidable and treatable hence the need to foster awareness on the common preventive approaches to blindness.
She said the Cross River State Eye Care programme has offered thousands of corrective surgeries since it’s establishment with little or no cost to the patient, an act she said is phenomenal for the eradication of blindness and commendable to the Government.
In his response, Permanent Secretary of the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara called for a routine eye check for every individual to check for abnormalities before it amounts into complications.
He said the ministry will partner with the Primary Healthcare Agency to ensure that, mush referrals are sent to Calabar for surgical procedures and advises.
The event gave oppurtunity for hundreds of people to check their eyes for any form of eyes defects and advice on the possible ways of keeping the eyes healthier.
The event also featured goodwill messages from the Director of Administration SMOH, Barr John Odu and other staff of the state eye program.