Over 600 visually impaired persons were at the weekend beneficiaries of free eye screening, cataract surgeries and distribution of free eye glasses, a project of the Region 8 International Association of Lions club to mark the 2020 World Sight Day.
The event, with theme: Hope in Sight commenced on 8th through 10th October and was held at the Ultra Modern Hall of the Egor Local Government Council Secretariat, Uselu, Benin City, Nigeria in collaboration with the Saint Theresa Specialist Eye Care Centre, Benin where 16 Cataract surgeries were carried out.
In a public lecture at the commencement of the programme, Lion Dr Bright Azeta, Consultant Optamologist, St Theresa’s Specialist Eye Care Centre stated that globally, one billion people have visual impairment and that 75 percent of visual impairment are avoidable while 89 percent of visually impaired people live in low and middle income countries. He stated that cataract is responsible for about 50 percent of blindness in low income communities and advised people in such areas to guard against causes of blindness and visual Impairment which he listed as including Glaucoma, Refractive error, Astigmatization, and long and short sightedness. He said that age and diabetes could also affect the eyes.
The World Sight Day, initiated by sightfirstcampaignof the International Association of Lions Club in the year 2000, is aimed at raising awarenesses about blindness and visual impairment, its causes, prevention and treatment. It is a global event and the Lions join other stakeholders to achieve its set goals.
Over 600 visually impaired persons benefited in the 2020 World Sight Day Project of Region 8 International Lions clubs and it begins a new Lions’ Year in the calendar of the International Association of Lions clubs globally.
Free eye screening and free cataract surgeries were carried out, while free eye glasses were distributed during the event.
Earlier in her brief remarks to welcome beneficiaries at the event, Lion Doris Otokiti Region 8 Chairperson, stated that the International Association of Lions club is a Humanitarian and non-profit making global organization which aim is to positively touch lives through voluntary service by its members. She said that vision is life and that it is a rare privilege for Lions to be part of restoring vision to the visually impaired, service she described as divine. Highpoint of the event was the presentation of the 16 beneficiaries of successful cataract surgeries who took turns to express their joy and appreciate the Lions Club for their selfless contributions towards restoring their vision.
Hon Eghe Ogbemudia, Chairperson, Egor Local Government Council, also made an appearance at the venue to commend the Lions club for bringing the project to the Local Government and even holding it in the Council Secretariat.