Pay attention to your sight, Fasawe urges FCT residents

The Mandate Secretary, Health Services and Environment of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe has urged residents to pay attention to their sight and take advantage of the health insurance scheme for accessible and affordable health care.

She made the appeal on Tuesday at a programme organised by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in commemoration of the World Sight Day with the theme, ‘Love your eyes at work.’

WSD is observed annually on the second Thursday of October as a global event meant to draw attention to blindness and vision impairment.

PUNCH Healthwise reports that there was free eye screening, distribution of free glasses, HIV screening, and enrollment of residents in the Federal Health Insurance Scheme during the programme.

According to Fasawe, the theme of the celebration is apt as it emphasises the need for eye care at the workplace.

She said the Health Services and Environment Secretariat has received the support of the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike to celebrate WSD in the FCT and pay rapt attention to the sight and visual needs of workers in line with the theme for this year.

“Over the years, we have continued to strengthen our eye care delivery system in the FCT with the establishment of eye clinics in ten secondary health care facilities owned and operated by the FCTA. In all of these centres, quality eye care services are being delivered in our bid to reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment in the FCT,” she stated.

Fasawe noted that there is a need to take proper care of the eyes for maximum productivity.

“Eye conditions that can cause vision impairment and blindness are, with good reason, the focus of prevention and intervention strategies. Notable, however, is that a considerable proportion of Nigerians have the tendency to wait until there is an emergency before seeking the help of the eye care professional, making intervention and treatment difficult with outcomes that could have been better if the presentation was better.

“You will recall that the President kicked off the distribution of five million reading glasses to Nigerians in September 2023. As an individual, I am donating 750 reading glasses to the FCTA in support of the 2023 WSD activities.

“In our continued efforts to make eye care services affordable and available to all working population of the FCTA, we are providing free eye care services to all the staff of the FCTA,” she added.

The public health expert also disclosed that during the screening, 500 staff of the FCTA will be given reading glasses free of charge to complement the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s initiative.

She added that the team will on Wednesday,  go to the Karu Abattoir and the Chief Palace in Karu, and to screen workers in the abattoir, the immediate community surrounding the abattoir, and the residents.

“Drugs and medical interventions will be provided, while an additional 500 reading glasses shall be disposed of free of charge,” she added.

She emphasised that the screening is not just for civil servants, but also for everyone to know the importance of eye care.

Speaking on the benefits of the health insurance scheme, the Mandate Secretary said it covers primary and secondary health services, including Hypertension, diabetes, malaria, arthritis, delivery, Caesarean Section, eye problem, among others.

“The scheme is not only in government hospitals, private hospitals are involved too including the National Hospital. Once you pay, you get enrolled and you begin to get your benefits,” she added.

The Chair of the WSD Committee and Consultant ophthalmologist at the Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Adaora Okudo, said the event is to create awareness of eye care and carry out eye screening for staff in the FCT and other residents.

On her part, the National Coordinator, National Eye Health Programme of the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Oteri Okolo, said vision is important because it is central to living.

“At the FMoH, eye care is one of the key areas we pay attention to, and we usually use every available opportunity to create awareness about the importance of good vision.

“So, we are saying if you are at work, you need to take care of your eyes, see an expert, get your eye checked, and if you need glasses, ensure you get it to increase your productivity,” she advised.


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