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Airtel Concludes Free Eye Screening Exercise In Adopted Schools

By Uche Peter
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Lagos, Nigeria; April 14, 2014: Nigeria's second largest telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria has successfully rounded off the free eye screening programme it commenced in March in three of its adopted schools in Imo, Cross River and Ogun states.

The beneficiary schools are Community Primary School, Amumara in Imo State, Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Cross River State and St. John's Primary School, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State.

The free Eye Screening Programme was done in conjuction with a team of opticians from Lagos-based Ultimate Eye Clinic, an accredited renowned eye care services provider to major Health Management Organisations in Nigeria and it involved free eye tests and administering of eye glasses for hundreds of pupils, teachers and members of the communities of the beneficiary schools.

The exercise offered real-time Medicare to underprivileged children, teachers and community members of the adopted schools; it helped to detect and treat conditions that may lead to amblyopia which are refractive errors causing visual impairment and strabismus. A total of 309 people were screened comprising 247 pupils, 32 teachers and 30 members of the community.

Speaking shortly after undergoing the screening exercise in one of the schools, the Education Secretary, Abi Local Government Area, Mr. Godwill Ani commended Airtel Nigeria for the initiative amidst several other developmental projects executed in the community following the adoption of the Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba in 2012.

His words, “When Airtel adopted this school, we didn't know the scope will be as elaborate as this. With the provision of facilities and infrastructure we were amazed. Now coming to do Eye screening test and therapy is something I never imagined. It has made us believe now that Airtel is total in their efforts to boost educational development in the society. We are very grateful to Airtel.”

The telecoms company was not short of more encomiums as a traditional ruler and current secretary of Ediba Traditional Rulers Council, Abi L.G.A., His Highness, Ovie E.O. Ogbodum recalled its pioneering efforts in the development of the community.

“Airtel is bringing a lot of development to this community in terms of building of schools, improvement in the lives of the pupils and standard of learning in schools. Other bodies are beginning to emulate Airtel. They are also showing a lot of respect to Ediba Traditional Rulers by getting us involved in all of their activities at Presbyterian Primary School. We are very happy. Thank you Airtel”.

Nigeria currently has over four million people suffering from eye problems 80% of which are from avoidable causes. One million of this figure are blind while three million are virtually impaired according to a report 2011 report from the Federal Ministry of Health. It is feared that about 50% of children who become blind before age five may not leave to see their sixth birthday.

Community leaders from Ediba that participated in the exercise include Secretary of Ediba Traditional Rulers Council Abi L.G.A. H.H Ovie E.O. Ogbodum, Medical Officer Abi L.G.A., Dr.Osubu Ojo Godwin, Supervisor for Education, Abi L.G Council, Mrs. Mary Moses Edem representing the Chairman of Abi L.G.A, Chairman NUT, Abi L.G.A., Mr. Edu Samuel Eleni, Chairman Ediba Local Government Community, Elder Ejom Edward, PTA Chairman, Presbyterian Primary School, Ediba, Mr. Emmanuel Riman Ettah, and the Education Secretary Abi L.G.E.A, Mr. Godswill Ani.