Optometrist, Eye, NOA
An optometrist testing the eyesight of a patient.

Glaucoma Week: FCT Public Health Dept Sensitises Populace

The Public Health Department, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) held a road walk and sensitisation to mark the 2024 World Glaucoma Week.

Dr. Doris John, the acting Director, FCT Public Health, said after the walk that record had shown that glaucoma cases have continued to increase, and that the essence of the road walk was to sensitise the public about the disease.

She said that the department was also out to educate the public about what they can do to prevent the disease, as well as the need to get their eyes checked regularly.

She defined glaucoma as a group of diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness by damaging a nerve in the back of the eyes called optic nerve.

The symptoms can start slowly and may not be noticed, so the only way to find out is to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

The acting director, therefore, said that “the best thing to do is to prevent it from happening because once it happens, there is nothing you can do to reverse it.

“We expect anyone and everyone residing in the FCT to come around and get screened; we will start screening from Wednesday to Friday.”

Dr Garba Abdulrazak, the Programme Manager and officer in charge of the Eye Care Unit of the department, said glaucoma is the common cause of irreversible blindness.

According to him, one thing about glaucoma is that it is usually asymptomatic, which means it shows no symptoms.

He added that, “there are other things you need to look out for to avoid getting glaucoma, for example, if you have a relative or two family members that have glaucoma, try and check your eyes regularly because it is genetic. We encourage people with family history to always go for regular check”.

Mr. Sunday Omotosho and Mr. Polycarp Agada, the representatives of Thelish Eye Centre, said the organisation was collaborating with FCT public health to give free medication and eyeglasses to people.

Mr Ewuzie Onyeka, the representative of Everight Health Foundation, said the organisation was also collaborating with FCT Public Health to ensure the elimination of the disease in FCT.

He said that his organisation would be at the FCT public health office on Wednesday, March 13, to take vital signs of people about the disease.

The theme of the 2024 World Glaucoma Week is “Uniting for a glaucoma-free world”.