By Lanre Adesanya
In commemoration of the World Glaucoma Week,the International Association of Lions Club has counseled the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to intensify sensitization on the importance of routine medical checkups, especially eyes screening.
The President of Lagos Mainland Lions Club, Mrs Phina Origho made this plea at the free eye screening, glass, glaucoma and cataract operations organised by the club.
The club organised the event in collaboration with an Initiative, Abel Enikanlogbon in Yaba, Lagos to mark the 2017 World Glaucoma Week holding between March I2 and I8.
Origho maintained that, poor orientation and awareness on the need for regular checkups has made so many Nigerians blind and sent so many to early grave.
“One of the objectives of International Lions Club is to help the blind regain their sight. We have set aside today to create awareness in this community and to conduct free eye screening,
“If we discover anyone to be in need of glasses, we give it freely, if we discover that there is a problem with the eyes like glaucoma or cataract, we will carry out the operations freely.
“Most people do not know that they need to take care of their eyes, most people do not know that their eyes have problems. Seeing does not mean that the eyes are healthy.
“It calls for routine check and screening of the eyes. People tend to concentrate on what to eat than their health. That is why some people keep walking and working and suddenly become blind.
“I thing the awareness about health and regular medical and eye checkups is not enough.
“I would want to plead with the National Orientation Agency to create more awareness on routine eyes checkups for the people to go and screen their eyes,” she said.
Origho noted that the club was ready aided by opticians to attend to as many that would come for the screening, adding that over 500 glasses were available to be distributed to people.
She urged Nigerians to cultivate the habits of regular eye checkups without being told yearly, adding that the indigent should key into free eye screening organised by humanitarian organisations.
Commending the Federal Government for efforts to transform health sector, Origho urged the governments to increase allocation to health matters for the purchase of modern equipment.
In her view people should have unfettered access to basic medical healthcare facilities in the country, stating that the club will commence its free eye operations on March 20.
Earlier, the Founder of Enikanologbon Organisation, Mr Abel Enikanoligbon said that he was passionate about the helpless condition of the poor in the society.
Enikanologbon, former Supervisor for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) said that he had partnership with several local and international Non-Government Organisations to help indigent residents.
“This initiative engage in so many development programmes for advocacy or empowerment. We have collaborations with so many NGOs particularly the United States America Consulate in Lagos State to better lives.
“In this last three years, we have done so many empowerments, free checkups, dispensing of drugs.
“We have done cervical and breast cancer screening and people that were discovered to have cervical and breasts cancer were treated free courtesy of US consulate.
“We want to ensure that people who are so improvised and called t access healthcare services on their own are our major concerned.
“We have touched over 1000 people in the last three years in different categories. today programme will touch do many lives. I discover so many people need support.”
According to him, his duties as a political appointee in the council led him to so many NGOs which he is using to better his community.
Enikanologbon, who said so many empowerment programmes were still in the pipeline for the residents, urged other NGOs to partner with the organisation to touch lives of the indigent in Yaba LCDA.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Maria Toriola, said that she had spent a fortune on her eyes, commended the organisers for the gesture.
“This organisation has done what is good. Our poor economic condition does not allow to us be patronising hospitals again.
“It is when we don’t have money again that we come here,” Toriola, a septuagenarian said.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Josephine Make, an octogenarian said:”This is good, they tried so much for us by screening our eyes and giving us free glasses May God blues this group.”
A Junior Secondary School two student, Emmanuel Madu described the Lions Club as “kindhearted with special interest in the less privilege.”