By Tare Youdeowei
ASABA—Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, has said hypertension and diabetes are major causes of blindness.
Azinge made this observation at Ellu, Isoko North Local Government Area, while celebrating this year’s World Sight Day organised by Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, OSN, Delta State Chapter.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Minnie Oseji,
Commending OSN for focusing its efforts on cataract, the commissioner said; “The data generated from the free eye care services put together by OSN as part of activities to mark the 2017 World Sight Day would greatly enhance statistics on eye care in the state and country.”
Responding, Chairman OSN, Delta State Chapter and Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Gloria Patrick-Ferife, disclosed that; “Over 2,000 persons were screened for cataract and surgery done for 25. More surgeries would be carried out before the end of the free services.”
Stating the need for more professionals, Zonal Coordinator, OSN, Dr. Faith Ejegi, bemoaned the rate of blindness in the society and called on the state government to employ more Ophthalmologists, saying; “In a state of over five million people, only 15 Ophthalmologists are on ground in both government and private health institutions, including the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba and Delta State Teaching Hospital, Oghara.”
The Chairman of the occasion and immediate past Secretary to the Government of Delta State, Comrade Ovuzuorie Macaulay thanked OSN for using their profession to give back to the society. “Leaders of oil bearing communities should utilize their share of oil revenue to boost the well being of their people. Deltans should desist from self medication and patronage of quacks to address eye problems because the eye is a very delicate organ and should only be handled by ophthalmologists,” he said.