By Olimatou Coker
World Sight Day is globally celebrated on the second Thursday of every October to recognise and reflect on the achievements registered on eye health and the challenges ahead.
This year’s celebration fell on Thursday, 11 October 2018 and was celebrated at the Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre (SZRECC) offices in Kanifing on the theme “Eye Care Everywhere”.
The National Eye Health Programme under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in partnership with OneSight (Gambia) celebrated the day with a procession from Westfield to Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Centre, where different health personnel spoke on the importance of the day.
Dr Abba Hydara, the CEO and senior consultant at SZRECC said the day was set aside for all those working under the eye care service and the general public to reflect on the issue of eye health, challenges and achievements. “The eye is the human body and it is a very sensitive part of the body. When it is lost, it cannot be replaced with another,” he said.
Dr Hydara added that in The Gambia, the National Eye Health Programme and partners, continue to provide eye care services to the people across the country creating accessibility.
Mr Vincent Mendy, the country manager of OneSight Gambia, said as an NGO, they will continue to create awareness and sensitise people to take care of their sights.
He went on to say that people should stop visiting local herbalists or traditional doctors for treatment, as this will only cause more harm. Mr Mendy advised the public to visit eye clinics or vision centres to test their sights and get treatments.
Mr Sarjo Kanyi, the program manager of the National Eye Health Programme, said the eye programme has provided and continued to provide affordable and accessible eye health care to every region of country.
“We all know that old age affects sights and this is not only in The Gambia,” Kanyi pointed out
He added that among the activities that they will be doing is free eye screening activities and donation of eyeglasses to the Mile 2 and Jeshwang Juvenile prisons, Home of Children With Learning Disabilities and SOS Children’s Village respectively.