Omolewa Ahmed advocates compulsory vision screening for children
Deaconess Omolewa Ahmed, wife of Kwara Governor has advocated a law that
will enforce compulsory vision screening for children to before
enrollment in government schools.
Ahmed made the call on Wednesday in Ilorin during her visit to the
Children Hospital at Centre Igboro in Ilorin to influence immunization
on children, as well as vision screening.
She stated that under the proposed law ministries in the state would be
made to key into the programme of vision screening for Kwara children to
ensure preventable blindness.
The Governor’s wife who is Founder of Life Empowers Anchors Hope (LEAH)
encouraged mothers to take children to immunization centres and also
undergo vision screening as it is free of charge.
“Vision is important and we must ensure that out of negligence or
ignorance our children are not exposed to blindness when we can take
them for screening and get help,” she said.
She said some of these cases of blindness are avoidable, adding that a
child that is blind in young age will not have a qualitative life.
Ahmed also explained that recently over 200 blind citizens were
empowered and N150,000 cheque given to them each to help them in their
Speaking earlier at the occasion, Prof. Dupe Ademola-Popoola, an
Ophtalmologist with the University of Ilorin Teaching Hosital (UITH)
explained that the state government has enacted law that makes vision
screening compulsory for children zero to five years.
She said because of the effort of the state government, a foundation;
the USAID has shown interest in the project where they donated some
equipment worth thousands of dollars.
The Ophtalmologist pointed out that a survey of 100 blind people carried
out in the state suggested that, seven out of 10 where blind from
childhood, while being hidden in that condition, till they are old
enough to come out to beg for a living.
“Some years back, Nigeria rose to the challenge of fighting deficiency
in Vit A and measles among children and they were successful,” she said.
Ademola-Popoola disclosed that four health facilities have been
designated as centres for the vision screening of children, adding that
these centres would also act as training of staffs as well as centres
for prevention of blindness and enhancement of sight.