A member of the National Youth Services Corps, Dr Chimnecherem Onyeachu, serving at the General Hospital, Omu-Aran in the Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, has treated 150 pupils drawn from different secondary schools in the council area of eye ailment.
The three-day eye treatment programme, which ended on Wednesday, was organised by Onyeachu as his community development project in conjunction with a member of the House of Representatives representing Irepodun /Isin /Ekiti /Oke-Ero federal constituency, Raheem Olawuyi.
Olawuyi provided the drugs and the reading glasses distributed to the pupils.
Onyeachu, who said the project was one of the true heartbeats of National Youth Service Corps scheme, stated that he willingly decided to treat eye defects in pupils and create awareness on the need for proper eye care.
"In the simplest terms, visual impairment is a decreased ability to see to a degree that can cause the affected individual difficulty with normal daily activities such as driving, reading, socialising and walking. According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 80 per cent of visual impairments globally is considered avoidable.
"In school-aged children, refractive error is the commonest cause of visual impairments, especially in rural areas. In such areas, no measures are taken to reduce their burden in the community," Onyeachu said.
He also explained that uncorrected refractive error can hamper performance at school, reduce employability, productivity and generally impair the quality of life. "The eyes play a vital role in learning and would significantly affect the future of the individual. Secondary school population creates a link between the elderly and the younger generation. As such, awareness created at this level would be passed to the parents and the younger ones, as well as their children in the future."
Olawuyi, who was represented by Dr Seyi Adigun, said he teamed up with the corps member to improve the health of pupils in his constituent adding that apart from Onyeachu's primary assignment as a corps member, he had dedicated himself to providing free eye screening for thousands of pupils in the area.
"How would pupils who are visually impaired cope and succeed? If they are unable to succeed academically because of visual impairment, how will their dreams of contributing to national development become a reality? This challenge is what Onyeachu, with his project, has brought to the fore for us to address," Olawuyi said.
Also, the Olomu of Omu-Aran, Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti, who was represented by the Odofin Omu of Omu-Aran, Chief Abdulraheem Bamigboye, described the project as a laudable one, which should be emulated across the country.
The monarch reiterated the support of his community to the NYSC, saying the gain of the scheme could not be overemphasised, as he recommended Onyeachu for the NYSC presidential award.