Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
As the World marks the year’s World’s Eye Health Day, the Speaker of Taraba State House of Assembly, Professor Joseph Albasu Kunini has called for concerted efforts to spread awareness campaign on the need for eye health in Taraba in particular and the country at large.
This is contain in a statement signed by Mr Sukuji Bakoji, spokesperson for the speaker and made available to newsmen in Jalingo on Thursday.
He urged appropriate government agencies, non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), Community based Organisations (CBOs), and social media users to use the various social media platforms to spread the awareness campaign for the purpose of eye protection to complement efforts of the conventional media organisations.
He said that the clarion call became imperative because blindness or vision impairment hampers several activities of a person’s life, ranging from daily chores, social interactions to work opportunities.
“Blindness is a great family burden, since someone has to care or guide the blind person and that blindness is not a respecter of any person in the society: young or old, male or female, rich or poor.
“Eyes are an important part of the health and wellbeing of every individual, hence routine eye checks, as well as prompt and appropriate treatment can prevent blindness and vision impairments.
“It is common knowledge that most people will experience eye health issue in a lifetime especially as they age. In Taraba, we are particularly concerned because there is a whole community that has been battling with river blindness from time immemorial. It is therefore imperative that step up campaigns against those things that makes people even more prone to visual impairment and to encourage people to constantly go for eye check-up so that they can nib any issue in the bud” Kunini said.
Our correspondent recalls that every second Thursday of October has been set aside as the “World Eye Day” by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to raise awareness and draw attention on the importance of eye health worldwide.
This year’s theme is, “Love Your Eyes” with hashtag, #LoveYourEyes – which is all about creating and spreading awareness of eye health.
The WHO has categorized Nigeria in the group of sub-Saharan countries in Africa where the estimated prevalence of blindness as one of the highest in the world.