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Nigerian Optometric Association Imo State Chapter has commended media practitioners in Imo state for their doggedness, describing them as partners in progress. Chairman of the association Dr. Martin Ohirir gave the commendations during his media chart with a cross section of journalists in Owerri to mark the commencement of the 2017 “world sight day”, noting that Imo media practitioners have been identified as major stakeholders in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness known as 'Vision 2020' (The Right to Sight).

Nigerian Optometric Association Imo State Chapter has commended media practitioners in Imo state for their doggedness, describing them as partners in progress. Chairman of the association Dr. Martin Ohirir gave the commendations during his media chart with a cross section of journalists in Owerri to mark the commencement of the 2017 “world sight day”, noting that Imo media practitioners have been identified as major stakeholders in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness known as 'Vision 2020' (The Right to Sight).


The asspociation equally commended Imo governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha for his efforts and steps towards improving healthcare delivery through the speedy attention he gave to the establishment of Imo State Primary Health Care Development Board and the recent employment of more Optometrists into the healthcare system, adding that it would facilitate the fight against the socioeconomic enemy called the 'blindness'. He said that they are targeting the elimination of blindness at the rural areas; hence the year's event will add what they called “The Women Optometrists in Nigeria”. According to him, the organization;s vision was to ensure “A world where Optometrists provide the highest quality and accessible eye care to all citizens as well as promote, provide and sustain eye and vision care in Imo state through training, advocacy for Optometry, policy development and humanitarian outreach”.
They insisted that their roles in the society has projected them as major stakeholder in the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Global Initiative for the, Elimination of Avoidable Blindness known as 'Vision 2020' (The Right to Sight). According to them it is a known fact that 80% of the causes of blindness are preventable; hence their programme is geared towards eliminating all avoidable causes of blindness through eye health promotion/awareness programmes, preventive, curative, clinical and rehabilitative services.
With the 2017 theme 'Universal Eye Health' and the call to action is 'Make Vision Count'.
It is a great time to engage with a wider audience and families with the view that approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment. The reports continued that 90% of blind people live in low-income countries and 80% of visual impairment is avoidable - i.e. readily treatable and/or preventable Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care. While the number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly reduced in the past 20 years, an estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. About 65 % of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises only 20% of the world's population.
Consequently, they resolved into focusing on school children's vision.
There   are   1.4   million   irreversibly   blind   children   globally   who   need   visual rehabilitation interventions for a full psychological and personal development. An estimated 500,000 children become blind each year, up to 60% of them die within a year of going blind. Almost half of all blindness in children particularly those in the poorest communities is due to avoidable causes that are amenable to cost effective interventions (World Health Organization). An estimated 19 million children are vision impaired worldwide, out of which 12 million are due to refractive errors. Continuing, one in four children aged 5-12 years have a vision problem that may affect their educational performance. About 80% of all learning in children's first 12 years of life is through the visual system. Uncorrected refractive error, the leading cause of visual impairment in children is treatable with a pair of spectacle.

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