An ophthalmologist, Dr. Mojoyin Akinwale, says more than 65,000 people are currently blind in Oyo State due to cataract.
Akinwale, who is the Vice-Chairman of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, South-West Zone, said this on Thursday at the inauguration of eye outreach and free cataract surgery exercise in Ibadan.
The outreach, which was organised by the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria in collaboration with the Lions Club of Ibadan 401, was in commemoration of the 2016 World Sight Day.
Ophthalmologists say about 80 per cent of cases of blindness could be prevented or cured.
According to Akinwale, one person in the world goes blind every five seconds, while a child goes blind every minute.
She said the World Sight Day focuses on global issues concerning avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
The ophthalmologist said that no fewer than 100 people would benefit from free surgery, while some would get free eye screening, drugs, and glasses during the programme.
She said the right to sight is now a joint initiative of the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, adding that they are committed to tackling avoidable blindness by 2020.
Also speaking, Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State said the free eye care initiative by the society would bring succour to many people in the state.
Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, expressed government’s readiness for public/private partnership.
He said the partnership was expected to engineer collaborative efforts to ensure achievable goals.
“Our aim is to build on a sustainable system which will respond to various challenges that may arise and affect healthy living of the people of the state,’’ he said.
The governor called on other partners to join the state government to provide the best available quality health care for the people, especially in rural communities.
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