Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
The Ophthalmological Association of Nigeria, Rivers and Bayelsa State branch has said that the cases of people living with glaucoma are much in the southern part of the country.
The body spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital while acquainting residents of the two states of free glaucoma screening at designated points as part of the activities marking this year’s World Glaucoma Week tagged ‘Beat Invisible Glaucoma’.
Speaking, an eye specialist, who is the Chairman of the OSN in the state, Dr. Ajame-Pepple Alex, stated that there were much cases of glaucoma among patients in the region than other eye diseases.
Alex noted that according to available statics that over 250,000 people in Rivers State are currently living with the disease and 5% of Bayelsa State population is also affected.
Alex said early detection of the disease through screening would aid its treatment, describing glaucoma as a serious health challenge.
He said: “Glaucoma is a serious health issue. A lot of health standard have been compromised, so everybody is at the risk. It does not have symptom at the early stage, but in the later development you begin to have peripheral vision, redness of eyes and others.
“Most people who have it do not know, they only seem themselves going blind. If it is well managed the patient will not go blind.”
Speaking, the Public Relations Officer of the body, Dr. Godswill Nathanielsaid said, “Available statistics show that over 250,000 people in Rivers State are living with glaucoma and 5% population of Bayelsan is affected. It is worst in some part of Rivers State like in Ogoni communities.
Alex urged individuals to make it a habit to see an ophthalmologist regularly for check and medical advices.
However, the Chairman Planning Committee 2017 World Glaucoma Week in the zone, Elizabeth Anoyesuku, said over 3000 persons would benefit from the glaucoma screening in the two states.
Anoyesuku disclosed that the screening would run throughout the week at four centres spread across the two states and that it would be free.