2023 World Sight Day: Council Boss Flags Off Eye Screening, Treatment In Ikwo

By Celestine Okeh, Abakaliki

The Executive Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area, Barr Sunday Nwankwo, on Thursday, flagged off free eye screening and treatment to the people of the area to commemorate the 2023 World Sight day.

Speaking during the flag off ceremony held at the Council Headquarters, Onuebonyi Echara, the  Council Chairman, Barr Sunday Nwankwo  harped on the importance of the sight organ in the body and the need for its care. He  announced to extension of eye screening and treatment to the rural areas of the council and enjoined the people to always present themselves for eye screening and treatment at least,once every year in order to prevent avoidable and treatable blindness..
He also Commended the Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee led by Dr. Ogbonnaya Iganga for collaborating with the Council to ensure proper screening and treatment of Ikwo people with vission impairment and blindness  as part of measures to celebrate this year's World Sight day.

"Today is world Sight day and for a day to be set aside for an engagement means it's globally important. Sight organs are very significant in the body and  we need to be more careful with it.

"World Sight day holds in Ikwo local Government Area for the first time and the first time too the Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee is having it in Ikwo. We will work out an arrangement so that we can take the eye care programme down to the grassroots.
"On behalf of the Council , I welcome the Facilitators, Coordinators and Chairman of the Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee to the 2023 World Sight day. I want to assure you closer collaboration going forward of closer engagement and work together that would be beneficial to the people.

"I hereby declare the programme open to the Glory of God and Humanity".

Earlier, the Chairman of Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee, Dr. Ogbonnaya Iganga, thanked the Executive Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area, Barr Sunday Nwankwo for his swift response to sponsor the free eye screening and treatment in the council within a very short notice, describing his actions as unusual of average politicians.

Dr Iganga, who is a consultant ophtamologist and coordinator outreach program, department of ophtamologist Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital  Abakaliki, equally commended the Chairman for not only sponsoring the eye screening and treatment for the day but have undertake to partner the committee in extending the awareness, screening and treatment to the rural areas in Ikwo. 
Dr Iganga explained further that the drugs, glasses and surgeries expencies is being taken care of, by the Council Chairman, Barr Sunday Nwankwo and urged the people to  make themselves available for the screening and treatment exercises.

"Today is world sight day 2023 with the theme; 'Love Your Eyes at Work' and as a committee, this is the first program we are having and we're holding it at Ikwo Local Government Area. We are very grateful to the Executive Chairman, Hon. Barr Sunday Nwankwo for accepting to sponsor and host this program within a very short notice which is uncharisteristics of most politicians. He bought the drugs, and eye glasses that we are using, so all the glasses and drugs we are giving to the people we are examining today are from the chairman. Very grateful to the Executive Chairman not only has he agreed to sponsor this program today, but going forward, he has agreed to partner with us to go to the rural areas to create awareness concerning eye Health and to treat them by offering surgeries, drugs and eye glasses depending on the needs of the patients. We encourage the people to take advantage of this and take care of their eyes. 
"Eye Health is everybody's business and they are lots of eye diseases and most of them starts in a silent way, for instance, some thing like glucoma, glucoma comes up silently and before the sufferer knows that he or she has eye diseases it's already late. So, the only way to prevent blindness from glucoma is early detection and 90%  of blinding eye diseases, they are either preventable or treatable so, the only way we can prevent blindness by early detection and that early detection can only come through screening and that screening can only come if people present themselves to the eye care facilities because the challenges we have is that people usually present very late when the diseases have become complex. Part of what the program like this will do to the people is to encourage them to seek eye care service very early and also to know where to seek it from. So we're very grateful to the executive Chairman for this opportunity he has given us and to the state Governor who established this State eye Health committe. Of course, this is the first time since the Creation of Ebonyi state that state eye Health committe is being established, so, we are grateful to the Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, Rt Hon Builder Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru for this laudable achievement and the promise we are making to him is that as much as it lies within us and with enabling environment, we will ensure that we will be able to achieve world Health target of preventable blindness in Ebonyi state".

Speaking with our correspondent, some beneficiaries of the eye screening and treatment, Mrs Okiri Angenlla from Ndufu Echara, Mrs Nwukwu from Noyo, Anyigor Joseph from Ekpomaka and  Henry Anyim Ajah from Ivo Local Government Area praised the commitment of the council Chairman in uplifting the welfare and well-being of the people and prayed for God's continued guidance and protection of the chairman and his family as he continue to provide dividend of democracy to the people.

Over two hundred and fifty people screened and treated went home with drugs and reading glasses worth millions of naira courtesy of the Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area, Barr Sunday Nwankwo.
In a vote of thanks, the Vice Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area,Hon. Mrs Chinasa Itumo appreciated the Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee for showcasing their professionalism and partnering with the Council to provide health services to the people with vission impairment. She assured the Council collaboration with the Ebonyi State Eye Health Committee in upholding the dividends of democracy dividends to the good people of Ikwo. 

World Sight day is an annual event Celebrated worldwide on the second Thursday of October every year. This year's World Sight day Celebration in Ikwo  focused on blindness and vission impairment with the theme "LOVE YOUR EYES AT WORK".

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