Ministry and Sightsavers donate glasses and medication to FCT commercial drivers

By Justina Auta

The Federal Ministry of Health’s (FMoH) Department of Public Health’s National Eye Health Program (NEHP) on Wednesday donated free eyeglasses to FCT commercial vehicle drivers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the exercise, in conjunction with Sightsavers Nigeria, also witnessed drug donations and other eye screening exercises in Abuja.

NAN also reports that the exercise is part of activities marking World Sight Day (WD) 2022 themed “Love Your Eyes”, celebrated annually on October 13 to raise global awareness of eye health.

Dr Obi Chimezie, representing the NEHP, said the exercise in Nyanya and Jabi parks was aimed at sensitizing motorists and transporters on the need for regular eye checks to reduce road accidents.

Chimezie said the ministry, in conjunction with Sightsavers, would also engage in free cataract eye surgery at Bwari General Hospital which started on Monday and will last until Saturday.

“It’s a way of giving back to the public. We’ve partnered to keep drivers’ eye health safe in the country.

“We provide the best opthamologists, opticians, optometrists and eye specialists to perform a free medical eye exam for motorists,” he said.

Dr Selben Penzin, senior eye health program manager at Sightsavers, said their organization aims to promote the elimination of preventable blindness, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and improve the livelihoods of people with disabilities (PWDs). ).

“The data shows that these are serious problems. That’s why Sightsavers in Nigeria works with eye health professionals to raise awareness.

“We encourage people to show their commitment to taking responsibility for their eyesight.

“Our focus today on drivers is to raise awareness about blindness and visual impairment, especially for long distance drivers,” she said.

Dr. Abubakar Tafida, Mandate Secretary of the FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat, said that the FCTA in June had provided cataract services to 500 patients within the FCT.

Tafida stressed the need for people to take care of their eyes and get into the habit of checking their eyes regularly.

“We are raising awareness and improving eye care services in all of our hospitals,” he said.

Also, the President of the Nigerian Association of Optometrists, Dr. Obinna Awiaka, has attributed poor eyesight as one of the leading causes of road accidents.

“That’s why our focus this year is on drivers, to make sure they get regular eye screening, especially for people around 40, there are definitely changes in the eyes.”

Dr Abiola Oyeleye, President of the Opthamological Society of Nigeria, said the choice of car parks for awareness was aimed at removing the stigma of drivers who used medicated glasses while driving.

Also, Dr. Ibrahim Wambai-Usman, National Chairman, Nigeria Optometric Nurses, emphasized the need for Nigerians to inculcate the habit of regular eye examination to improve their health.

Meanwhile, some motorists and drivers appreciated the efforts of government and health sector stakeholders for the exercise which would reduce eye health problems and lower treatment costs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the drill saw massive participation from motorists and transporters to ensure safety while driving. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Idris Abdulrahman/Abiemwense Moru

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