By Dayo Johnson
OVER 5000 free eye-glasses have been distributed to indigent persons across Ondo State as part of activities marking the third anniversary of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
The initiative, which took place in Akure, was tagged “Igo Aketi.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Akeredolu emphasised the importance of using eye-glasses noting that straining the eyes could destroy it.
Akeredolu said that when one cannot see clearly, there is a need for eye-glasses that also corrects sight defects. He also spoke of his administration’s infrastructural development initiative, while promising to continue to develop the State and leave it better than he met it.
The Governor, during the ceremony, did a symbolic presentation of the eye-glasses to Kayode Joseph, Kayode Helen, Famakinwa Olayinka, Ogundare Florence and Iyabo Akingbulure to kick start the distribution process across the state. Free eye screening had earlier been done across the state; where some were pencilled down for free eye-glasses, some referred for treatment and others, for surgery which will be conducted later in the year.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Health and Chairman of the Igo Aketi initiative, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye said the programme was to give out 1,500 free glasses but by the time the screening exercise started, it was discovered that those qualified to collect glasses were more, so it was increased to 5,000.
Dr. Adeyeye explained that about 8,000 people have been screened in about 13 LGAs, remaining 5LGAs, which would be done after the anniversary.
He said 300 glasses were distributed in Akure, while Owo, Oba Akoko, Okeagbe and Ikare have equally received theirs.
The Special Adviser noted that plans are underway for free eye surgery and treatment for those with eye challenges later in the year.
The Special Adviser highlighted some achievements of the present administration in the health sector to include: payment of seven months inherited salary arrears of health workers, accreditation to train postgraduate doctors in 18 areas of specializations, facilitation of donation of medical equipment and consumables in not less than 22, 40ft containers, worth $6m.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, commended Akeredolu for prioritising the health of the people, which in his words, is unprecedented.
Dr. Adegbenro said the governor has always had the masses in mind; hence he has put in place a Contributory Health scheme to cater to residents and ensure they do not suffer financial embarrassment when they need health care.
He further stressed that the government has even gone ahead to pay the premium for pregnant women and children under five to reduce maternal mortality and child mortality and morbidity.
Beneficiaries laud Akeredolu
Mrs. Iyabo Akingbulure, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, appreciated the governor for deeming it fit to empower less privileged residents, who could not afford high-level eye care and other people-oriented programmes.