A Senator, Magnus Abe, has advocated training for teachers in the area to sustain the on-going free eye treatment programme for primary and secondary school pupils in the state.
He gave the advice on Tuesday in Tai, Rivers during the free eye treatment programme tagged “Free School Eye Health Programme and Training of Teachers’’ in Tai Local Government Area.
Abe, who represents Rivers South-East Senatorial District and was the sponsor of the exercise, said the teachers’ training would guarantee the sustainability of the programme in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 5,000 students from Khana, Eleme and Gokana Local Government Areas of Rivers have received free eye treatment under the programme.
The senator said the teachers would be trained to detect and recommend students with impaired vision for treatment in primary health centres in the state.
He said the public perception that children were not vulnerable to poor eyesight was wrong, noting that investigation showed that they were also affected by eye diseases.
“I recently visited a local government area and was shocked to discover children with cancer of the eye, glaucoma and other severe eye problems.
“We then decided to embark on this programme to create the awareness and let the parents and the general public know that children at early ages can also become blind if such diseases are not detected and treated early.
“This programme seeks to prevent, detect and treat primary and secondary school pupils who have poor eyesight, so that they can be able to compete well in their academic pursuit and live a normal life,’’ Abe said.
He said children with poor eyesight would be provided with glasses while others with severe cases would be sent to primary health centres for further medical treatment.
The senator said the state government had shown interest in the programme and was willing to expand the scheme to other areas in the state.
He called on parents to allow their children and wards to participate in the on-going free eye treatment exercise in the state.(NAN)