As the World commemorates the 2018 World Glaucoma Week, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr Charles Omale, on Saturday, criticised the poor attitude of Nigerians to eye health.
Omale, who is also the Managing Director, Fortress Eye Hospital, Wuse Zone 1, Abuja, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that due to this attitude, most health interventions were forced on citizens.
He criticised the lack of interest to observe routine eye and general health check-up even with continuous awareness creation, sensitisation and campaign by NGOs, public health and religious organisations.
According to Omale, awareness about glaucoma, although has improved over the years, is still below expectation because of the general attitude of people to health care.
“The attitude of people to health care is very poor and so you will need to force it down their throats most of the time.
“NGOs, public health organisations, individuals and even places of worship have continued to carry out campaign about Glaucoma; what it is, the risk factors and the need to ensure early diagnosis and treatment, if that is the case.
“If people will even listen to the radio, read the newspapers and other media platforms, they will definitely see or listen to programmes that talk about the need to always engage in routine medical eye check-up.
“However, I doubt if most of those who come across these programmes respond in the same measure by putting to practice all recommendations and advise.
“Churches also have begun in recent times to carry out these campaigns in places of worship; we see eye specialists coming to give health talks on glaucoma and other eye diseases.
“I am sure this is largely aimed at educating the people.
“I hope that people will begin to take issues concerning their health seriously because it is for their own benefit,” Omale said.
He said that due to the significance of Glaucoma to an individual’s health and life, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set apart a week every year to give attention to the condition.
Omale said that this was also to encourage people to take their eye health seriously and allow eye health centres provide more assistance to citizens in the areas of awareness, diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
He said “ the main purpose of the World Glaucoma Week is to improve publicity, awareness and education about the disease. Over time, we have seen improved responses generally.
NAN reports that a week in the month of March is set aside every year to commemorate the World Glaucoma Week.
The “2018 World Glaucoma Week” held from March 11 to 17 with the theme: “GREEN= Go Get Your Eyes Tested for Glaucoma Save Your Sight”.
During the week, a wide range of activities including free eye awareness, diagnosis, test and treatment are organised by ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eye care workers in hospitals, clinics among other locations.
Glaucoma causes progressive damage to the vision mostly without any signs or symptoms until vision is impaired or completely lost.
Damage to the eye from Glaucoma cannot be reversed, therefore, the earlier the diagnosis the less damage and more vision there is to save.