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1 billion people, globally, suffer presbyopia

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By Mercy Kelani

Across Nigeria, about 2 million people are visually impaired.

Dr. Tochukwu Onwuzulike, an optometrist, declared that Presbyopia is diagnosed as an optical disorder that affects the eyes, and more than one billion people across the world are affected. This was disclosed by the eye specialist with Vision Spring, a non-governmental organisation at the launch of the free eye care exercise at Apo resettlement in FCT. Medically, presbyopia is known as an eye condition which causes the eye to lose its potential or ability to concentrate quickly on objects that are near.

The business development specialist, Onwuzulike, stated that, considering the global population that is affected by this condition, not less than 500 million of the affected 1 billion people are visually impaired as a result of the unavailability and lack of access to reading glasses. The interest of the NGOs is focused on the fact that about 2 million Nigerians are visually impaired. According to the optometrist, the data of the visual impairment condition is alarming and dreadful, leading to more complex problems that need to be addressed immediately.

This condition is a worldwide problem that affects the eye.

For the time being, the people were implored and urged by specialists to cultivate the habit of going to hospitals for tests and taking proper care of their eyes when necessary. Based on his statement, the event was crucial and important because it addressed a global and huge problem which centres on eye care. This care is known to be instrumental and very useful for the productivity of people. Mental health and the quality of life is enhanced by proper care.

Also, it is very important that the government and NGOs combat the eye conditions of millions of Nigerians by addressing their needs. It is important to note that Presbyopia is a worldwide problem that affects the eyes. Based on statistics and record, no fewer than 500 million from the population of 1 billion people are affected by the presbyopia, and are also visually impaired. The causes of this widespread condition is the inability of Nigerians to get reading or studying glasses.

There will be distribution of 10,000 eyeglasses freely.

He said that the coming together of Vision Spring and Eye Care Aid Foundation is very beneficial as they also have the support of the health authority of the FCT and Abuja Municipal Area Council to ensure the launch of the screening. In addition, he said that the screen will ensure the distribution of 10,000 eyeglasses freely and the screening of 20,000 persons in the FCT. Dr. Adesuwa Agbontaen, the Chief Executive Officer of Eye Care Aid Foundation, stated that the project will cut across all communities in the FCT and it is going to run until June 2024.

Furthermore, the Eye Care Aid project was flagged off in FCT for all residents, giving out free reading glasses and tests for 20, 000 people. It was emphasized that the mandate of the project was to ensure the distribution of 10, 000 glasses. He made it known to the public that an eye problem mostly does not surface visibly unless a person sees doctors. This means that some conditions and problems are not visible on the outer part and not easily noticed unless they are diagnosed by doctors. However, there is a creation of awareness done alongside the exercise for all communities.

World Sight Day will be commemorated during the exercise.

Moreover, awareness during the exercise is also used to commemorate World Sight Day that is observed on October 12, annually. Mr. Emeka Mbanusi, Head of Information and Public Relations, AMAC, appreciated the coordinators for the eye screening project. Also, he said that the collaboration with AMAC will provide directions to execute the exercise successfully in the FCT. Mbanusi added that Mr. Christopher Maikalañgu, the AMAC Chairman, has deployed immense service to the residents of the area council, in terms of healthcare for the elderly, mothers and children.

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