The Cross River State Government flagged off the 2019 World Glaucoma Week at the Ministry of Health headquarters, Calabar, with series of tests and examinations by eye care specialists from the State Ministry of Health and the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital led by Dr. Agbor of the State Eye Health Program and Ass. Prof. Affiong Ibanga of the UCTH, and is expected to run through to Saturday the 16th of March, 2019.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve of the eye, which is basically the structure that relays what the eye sees to the brain. If left untreated, continued damage to this structure may lead to visual field defects, visual impairment usually noticed as foggy or cloudy vision, and complete blindness.
The Cross River State Government has a free eye care program at the General Hospital, Calabar, complex where we have carried out over 32,000 free eye surgeries including Cataract and Glaucoma sufferers in the State. -Dr. Inyang Asibong; Commissioner for Health
In Nigeria, no fewer than 1.8 million people of over 40 years of age suffer from glaucoma with almost 360,000 of them blind in both eyes, and this increases to 15% in population over 65 years. Sadly only 5% are aware of the disease. Based on prevalence studies, it is estimated that 79.6 million individuals will have glaucoma in 2020. This number is likely to increase to 111.8 million individuals in 2040.
With an estimated 90% of people with glaucoma not knowing their status, the glaucoma status campaign for general public became a necessity since 2017.
The public are advised to visit the Cross River Eyecare Program in the College of Health Technology complex at Mary Slessor, Calabar, to update their status and get the necessary treatments and medications.