C’RIVER GOVT DEVELOPS FIRST EYE CARE POLICY, OFFERS FREE EYE SERVICES

The Cross River State Government In Collaboration with the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN) a non profitable, professional society for Ophthalmologists is today celebrating her 2020 World Sight Day with the theme “HOPE IN SIGHT.”

In commemoration of this day that is always set aside for the second Thursday of every October, the Honorable Commissioner for Health Dr Betta Edu who spoke on behalf of the Government has assured Cross Riverians that it will go the extra mile to bring eye care services to their door step providing solutions to those with eyes challenges. According to her, the government of Prof Ben Ayade understands that the eye is the window to the body and the World as such will sustain and improve on the eye care program in the State.

“As a State we had started the Ayade 1000 Free Eye Surgery and Free Eye Checks that we successfully carried out in two Local Government Areas, Akamkpa and Biase, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will still cover the remaining 16 LGAs of the State. all plans to continue the Ayade free rural community based outreaches has been put in place and it remains free to all.

Again, the State is collaborating with the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria and all key stakeholders to Develop the first Cross River State Eye Health Policy, while kick starting training for eye focal persons at the Primary Health care level and conducting the School Eye Care Program in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to enable us monitor our children and pick them quite early for proper preventive eye care services and effective medication.

According to her “The Governor, Ben Ayade will not allow our people to suffer eye defects without any form of intervention and that is why he has directed the immediate integration into the State Health Insurance Scheme (Ayade Care). Sen Prof Ben Ayade as a result of his passion for the Primary Eye Care has began to set up Eye Hubs in various LGAs and PHCS with a vision to make eye care services more accessible.” For today members of the public can access free eye care services at Department of Ophthalmology UCTH and State Eye Care Program at General Hospital calabar, Sankwala, Ogoja, PHC Ikom, etc all free of charge!

Dr Edu also used the opportunity to call on OSN and other eye care practitioners to speedily come out with a training guide so the training process for Primary Health Care staff can kick start promising that the State Eye care Committee will be inaugurated before the end of next week. She again assured them of that continuous synergy and partnership between the Government and the Society while charging them to join the fight against quackery in the State.
Speaking on behalf of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria Dr Etim Bassey who commended the Government for an exceptional Eye Care Program which is being improved upon daily. He said Cross River State has one of the best Eye Care Program in the Country that dates many years back and has been sustained and improved. He went further to reiterate that the State Eye Health Policy is a great idea which will give better direction to the State Eye Care Program while ensuring eye care services is decentralized to the grass root. Dr Etim also commended the State for the “Ayade 1,000 Free Eye care program” and promised the full support of the Society and other key stakeholders to help the State achieve more.

Other consultants Doctors from UCTH as well as other Associations leaders gave their support to keep hope alive.

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