Two Non-Govermental Organisations, the Eye Care Aid Foundation and Vision spring, have given out 10,000 eye glasses to residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with support from the ACT Foundation.
The Programme Manager, Eye Care Aid Foundation, Mr Diamond Abah, speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, said the gesture was to give strong advocacy on protecting the eyes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2023 theme of the World Sight Day is tagged:” Love your Eyes at Work”.
Abah noted that the foundation would be screening 20,000 residents of the territory and dispense 10,000 glasses to them.
“Eye care is passionate about taking care of the eyes of people. As individuals if you cannot see, you cannot read and if you cannot read you cannot be progressive in life.
“Readers they say are leaders and we want to make sure that people are able to see and read.
” In this advancement of technology, everybody is looking at the screen either the phone screen, TV screen. Those light coming from the screens affect the eyes so we must be able to provide reading glasses to people so they will be able to see,” he said.
Abah called on the government to support through the provision of basic logistics to be able to move round to deliver on their mandate.
“We started this journey since March 2023 and we have been going from one community to another in FCT and the government can do a lot by giving us means of mobility because we have glasses already.
“We have been mandated to screen 20,000 residents and dispense 10,000 glasses so we need finances to move around and manpower and basic logistics to be able to dispense these glasses,” he added
Also, a Business Development Specialist for Vision Spring and Optometrist, Mr Tochukwu Onwuzulike, said the programme was put in place to eliminate avoidable blindness.
Onwuzulike also said that the programme was geared towards improving productivity in the workplace.
“Today is World Sight Day and we are celebrating and giving strong advocacy because it is very difficult to work productively and successfully without good and clear vision.
“And as we speak, President Bola Tinubu is flagging off a major policy document in the eye care sector. People must learn to examine their eyes and ultimately help us to eliminate avoidable blindness and help people boost productivity in the work place.
“Eye care is a very important, productivity, lifestyle and mental health issue that impact on almost every part of our lives so we are here to raise awareness about issues around people to examine their eyes for better livelihood,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to the newsmen commended the initiative while calling for the replication in other parts of the country.
Mohammed Abubakar expressed gratitude to God and the organisations for providing such gesture.
“My glasses got expired but I could not afford they another one which has been given me concern because it is affecting my sight.
“As it stands today, I have a new glasses which I got free of charge from the organisations. I want to really appreciate them for this,” he said.
Also, Musa Biu, a beneficiary called on the government at all levels to support such organisations to get across to the masses.
“I have been having eye problems for long but because I do not have support to go for check up, I was managing my sight.
“I am grateful to God and the foundation for providing me the glasses for not making me go blind. I will like the government to support this kind of gestures by encouraging such organisations to more for the masses,” he said.