As Nigerians look forward to marking this year’s “World Glaucoma Week”, usually celebrated annually in the second week of March to create awareness on the disease and offer eye screening to members of the public, Me Cure Eye Centre, a subsidiary of Me Cure Healthcare Limited, has commenced free Glaucoma screening for 10,000 Nigerians, starting from 1 February to 31 March, 2019.
Speaking with newsmen at a press conference organised to kick off the screening programme, tagged “Kick Out Glaucoma Now”, Dr Adegboyega Alabi, a consultant ophthalmologist and chief operating officer, Me Cure Eye Centre, said the 60-day screening exercise was aimed at promoting good eye health and helping in the reduction of the burden of avoidable blindness through early detection of common eye conditions that result in avoidable blindness.
Speaking further, the ophthalmologist noted that despite growing awareness on glaucoma, many people do not have their eyes checked regularly, adding that glaucoma is a disease that affects the optic nerve in the eye.
“The nerve is what connects the eye to the brain. Whatever the eye sees, the image is taken by the optic nerve to the brain for us to see. But when this optic nerve is diseased, then one is said to have that glaucoma”, he said.
According to him, it is against this background that Me Cure Eye Centre is organising the screening event to create awareness on glaucoma.
He however noted that tackling the glaucoma challenge in Nigeria must go beyond the annual enlightenment campaign during the World Glaucoma Week, saying that since vision lost through glaucoma cannot be regained with treatment, it should be compelling enough for the government to come up with more proactive approaches that will focus primarily on prevention, which is clearly the only way to beat glaucoma.
Speaking in the same vein, Dr Kunle Megbuwawon, head, Strategies and Commercial Services and head, Family Medicine Unit, Me Cure Healthcare Limited, said Me Cure, as a socially responsible organisation, initiated the free screening programme to increase the lifespan of Nigerians by doing more of promotive and preventive health.
He said with early detection, there are treatment options that can help reduce loss of vision and slow down the progress of glaucoma, adding that Nigerians must be encouraged to be more conscious and proactive about their eye health by going for periodic eye screening and undergoing proper treatment when they have issues.