By Sola Ogundipe
Anthony Emerald Lions Clubs has said an approximate 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness with however, 80 per cent of such visual impairment avoidable.
Dr. Abiola Oyeleye, who disclosed this at the fundraising and investiture ceremony of Lion Adebimpe Bello, said cataract is the leading cause of blindness, which is totally reversible but glaucoma, which is the second most common cause of blindness is irreversible.
“In Nigeria, 4.25 million adults who are 40 years and above have vision impairment/blindness, 1.13 million are blind and this impairment/blindness is more common in females than males” he said.
According to him, “there are myths about wearing glasses, such as reading in poor light will hurt the eye; holding a book too close or sitting too close to a television set is harmful to the eyes; using the eyes too much will wear them out; wearing eyeglasses that are too strong or have the wrong prescription will damage the eyes; wearing eyeglasses will weaken the eyes, crossing your eyes will make them permanently crossed and having 20/20 vision means that the eyes are perfect (central vision).
In her acceptance speech, Lion Adebimpe Bello disclosed that the board of directors has agreed to sponsor 50 cataract surgeries for patients identified at their free screenings in partnership with various eye hospitals in Lagos, at the cost of N50, 000 each; adding that they have also identified 11 patients for eye surgery from the St. Raphael’s Medical fare.
“We have already done 10 and I encourage everyone to choose to sponsor some or the rest. We are offering you an opportunity to leave your footprints in the signs of time. We also plan to donate 200 hospital bed sheets to 3 public hospitals where patients lay on bare mattresses and build, in collaboration with our community, 2 modern toilets with steady supply of water, embark on a partial renovation of the dilapidated Anthony Police Station,” she stated.