Me Cure Offers Free Glaucoma Screening to Nigerians
raises alarm over high incidence of glaucoma among young Nigerians
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 leading diagnostic company in Nigeria , 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 aims 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.
Dr Alabi, described glaucoma as a disease of public health importance, saying it formed about 80 percent of the hospital’s patients over the period of six years it has existed.
He said a quite number of working age group is coming down with advance glaucoma and urged Nigerians to engage in early detection to prevent avoidable blindness.
“Since the inspection of this eye centre about six years ago, we’ve notice very high incidence of cases of glaucoma. Currently, glaucoma form about 80 percent of the patients that we attend to here. So glaucoma is more or less a disease of public health importance. But unfortunately not many people know about it. So we believe that this is an opportunity to create that public awareness.
“The disease itself is not an issue; the issue is not detecting it early. If you detect glaucoma early, then we can prevent blindness from ensuing from it and we know that glaucoma is an irreversible disease. Blindness that ensued from glaucoma cannot be reversed; there is nothing anybody can do about it anywhere in the world as we speak,” he said.
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 preventive health.
He said with early detection, there are treatments 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.