Not less than 100 people in Ibadan last week benefitted from the free eye test and cataract screening organised by the Jide Adeyemi Foundation, in conjunction with the Community Eye Outreach Unit of the University College Hospital (UCH) at the Olatubosun Compound, Itabale Olugbode and the UCH compound as part of efforts to reduce incidence of avoidable blindness in the society.
The outreach, according to the organisers, was born out of the need to improve the health conditions of the people and based on the understanding that many people do not take good care of their eyes despite the importance of the eyes to the life of every individual as the light to the world.
According to them the outreach was to support and put smiles on the faces of others by helping them not only with screening, but also with treatment and medications in furtherance of its efforts to fill the vacuum in the health sector towards producing an environment filled with healthy people.
The founder of the foundation, Honourable Jide Adeyemi, a brand strategist and Chief Executive Officer of Big and Bold Communications Ltd, stated that he decided to help the community in the area of health because
On why he settled for health, he said, there had been a lot of programmes by well-meaning people in the society to touch the lives of people in the area of infrastructure, adding that due to the fact that it is common knowledge that health is wealth and no matter the development taken to a community, without sound health, they cannot enjoy it.
He added that “many of our old people have issues with their sight and do not know what to do about it. Even young people who have health challenges don’t sometimes know how to manage it and without good health, you cannot manage anything well. It has been discovered that health is a major need of the people and that is why we are doing this. I think it is important that we bring development to the people in different ways, it is important that we should support our people and provide support in various forms for those who are in need of support, that is why I took this up.
“There are a lot of people who have different eye challenges and some are already losing their sight and as a foundation, we felt that this is something that we can do to support our people. That is why we decided to provide free eye test for the people to check the status of their eyes and treat whatever ailment they have; we provided eye glasses to those that need them and sponsored cataract surgery for those that require such after the screening, all at no cost to them. This is one of the things that the government should be doing and we are doing this to fill the vacuum and support the government by to provide good healthcare for the people,” Hon. Adeyemi said.
Speaking on the selection of beneficiaries, he stated that though he is a politician, the programme is not a political project, adding that, “this is not for our party members; it is for everybody in North East and South East and across Ibadan. And of course, you know our party is very particular and passionate about healthcare, our immediate past governor did a lot about healthcare, so the party will always do the same and provide healthcare for the people. Nevertheless, this is for the benefit of the community, not our members alone,” he stated.
Speaking about the outreach, one of the leaders of the UCH team explained that causes of illnesses may not be known, adding that there are some factors that predispose people to eye problem like people suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, skin colour, diet and other health issues which could be a factor leading to eye problem and it could be hereditary.
“The general care and prevention of disease starts from the womb, which is why we recommend antenatal and good diet during pregnancy. This is when we start ensuring everything about the health turns out well. The health system needs overhauling and the government cannot be left to do it alone; well-meaning individuals should join the government to do this because people are too burdened and they don’t have finances for medical treatment. So they need help and that is why we encourage people that have the power to engage in this kind of outreach to help the people.”
At the end of the programme, over 100 people were screened and more than 40 got eye glasses while many also underwent surgical procedure to remove cataract.
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