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“Six Million Nigerians At Risk Of Going Blind,” Says Eye Expert

Oladipupo Afolayan

Head, Optometry Department of the Imo State University, Prof. Frank Iwuagwu, has said about six million Nigerians are at risk of going blind, as a result of untreated glaucoma.

“Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases characterised by silent and gradual loss of vision,” Iwuagwu said.

He disclosed this in Owerri, while briefing journalists on a survey conducted by students, which revealed that about five per cent of glaucoma patients in the country is from Imo State.

Also, ahead of 2020 World Glaucoma Week, Iwuagwu urged other stakeholders to use the opportunity to organise various enlightenment programmes.

He described glaucoma as a major cause of blindness globally, saying: “Unfortunately, only a few percentage of the sufferers are aware of their condition. The rest may go blind without having a chance to fight for their sight.”

Also speaking, Chairman, Imo State chapter of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Dr Chinaka Nwosu, said all eye clinics in the state would conduct a two-day free glaucoma screening for residents.

He said the exercise was part of the activities lined up for the upcoming 2020 World Glaucoma Week, billed for March 9- March 13.

He said the exercise was also aimed at creating awareness on glaucoma and its prevalence rate in the country.

Nwosu said, “We want to inform you that on March 8 (today), there will be a public lecture involving all experts in Imo ahead of the world glaucoma week. Also, our resource persons will guide us in terms of the new trends, conditions and other preventive measures that we must take to fight glaucoma.”

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