In commemoration of this year’s children day celebration, the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has provided free eye care services for pupils from designated schools within the state capital.
Governor Ayade who spoke through the commissioner for women Affairs, Hon. Stella Odey during the opening ceremony of “Save the sight of the child” an initiative of the ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) Cross River State chapter, stated that the gesture was driven by the determination of the present administration, led by Governor Ayade, to ensure accessible quality vision and good eye health amongst cross River State children.
Speaking further, Hon. Odey who applauded the Governor for his laudable strides, pointed out that, Governor Ayade is a loving father who would do anything to ensure that CRS children are healthy and happy, she enjoined the pupils to adhere strictly to instructions given to them by the doctors as well as avoid the use of substances that would be detrimental to their sight.
In the same light, the commissioner for Health Dr. (Mrs) Inyang Asibong commended the efforts of Prof . Ben Ayade in ensuring that CRS children are free from visual impairments, Dr Asibong described the eyes, as the Window to life, and encouraged parents and teachers to report children with visual challenges to hospitals for early correction of refractive errors. she hinted that Governor Ayade has set up a free eye care service clinic at college of Health Technology calabar, where children with visual challenges can access free medical treatments.
In the same vein, the commissioner for Information and orientation Barr. (Mrs)) RoseMary Archibong congratulated the Governor for his notable giant strides, the information commissioner stated that Governor Ayade is passionate about the excellent performance of pupils in their academics, hence the provision for the welfare of school children with visual challenges.
Also speaking, the chairman, Nigerian Optometric Association cross River State chapter Dr. Onyebuchi Ndukwe said he was delighted to partner with CRS government in rendering free eye care services to affected pupils, disclosing that NOA is carrying out “My sight, My right ” project targeted at preventing blindness among children. He added that visual impairments can affect children either directly or indirectly and as well limits their educational and self development opportunities. He added that, vision is the right of every child.
Earlier, Dr. Bernadine Ekpenyong of Benita Eye Clinic, while sensitising the pupils on the need to take proper care of their eyes, enlightened that, it is important for one to observe eye check up at least once in a year to enable the doctors ascertain visual challenges as well as seek for ways of correcting the impairments before they escalate. Dr Ekpenyong admonished parents to pay attention to complains from their wards, such as: itching of the eyes, inability of the child to see alphabets on the chalk board at a far range and also difficulties in veiwing objects on the television from a far range. She advised pupils to desist from applying substances that are not prescribed by a medical practitioner.
On their part, beneficiaries of the initiative, miss Adaeze Ezeme and master Wisdom Sunday of Federal Airport Authority primary school, thanked Governor Ayade for his good thoughts and concern towards them by providing free eye care services that would have cost a fortune for their parents.
Upon the completion of their eye screening, the pupils who were identified with poor vision were given free eye glasses accordingly for corrective. Measures. The event which took place at the ministry of Women Affairs complex had in attendance: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs Mr. Freedom Ejom, Directors, teachers and , pupils .