NIGERIAN Optometric Association(NOA) Anambra chapter has offered free medical eye check and services to inmates at Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS), Custodian Center, Awka, to mark 2019 World Sight Day(WSD).
About 80 inmates and 20 staff benefited from the free eye check, free glasses and free drugs offered by NOA during the WSD activities at Awka Correction facility.
According to NOA Anambra Chairman, Dr. Chigozie Umeh who is also Medical Director, Ropheka Eye Clinic, Npkor, said that they decided to reach out to the underserved of the society.
He said that the 2019 WSD themed ‘Vision first! Leave no one behind’, focused on sensitising inmates and staff in correctional facilities on taking care of their eyes to forestall avoidable blindness.
“WSD is an annual event slated for every 2nd Thursday of October when eye professionals create awareness on avoidable blindness emanating from avoidable causes teaching people how to care for their sight.
“We advocate that people visit optometrists who are primary eye care practitioners trained to check, diagnose and treat eye problems. We have orthoptics trained to train the eye muscles.
“We advise the warders to regularly bring out incarcerated inmates outside to see the sun and exercise their eyes to avoid lack of dark adaptation that causes myopia or blindness”, said Umeh.
Moreover, delivering a lecture, Dr Nwankwo Ogechukwu advised people to know their family, health history to know whether hypertension or diabetes runs in the family saying that it affects eye health.
“Avoid self medication, putting urine, sugar, salt, saliva or sharp objects in the eye. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes. From 40 years, you should see an Optometrist”, said Nwankwo.
WSD Committee Chairman, Dr, Emejue Ifeanyi said that the activities include: media chat, roadwork, assisted by Federal Road Safety Corps, free eye test free drugs to staff and inmates correctional facilities.
Meanwhile, Officer in charge, Custodian centre, Awka, Edwin Akabueze and the PRO, Francis Ekezie thanked NOA for remembering them urging more groups to emulate such kind gestures.
Akabueze pleaded with government who has upgraded the prisons to correctional facilities to employ optometrists for inmates at least one for each state.