This was the message emphasised yesterday on World Sight Day (WSD).
WSD is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.
Recognising this was the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.
The director, Dr Amyna Sultan, who is also a member of PNG’s National Prevention of Blindness committee, highlighted alarming statistics of PNG based on recent surveys in the country.
The Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) report survey notes that PNG has 40 000 people unnecessarily blind.
These are people living with avoidable blindness, such as cataract.
Avoidable blindness are cases that could easily be avoided, if people knew about it. Hence, awareness is very important in getting the message across to many.
Sultan particularly stressed on prevention.
- To those who do contact sports, and those employed in industries where it is an occupational hazard, always wear protective eye wear and goggles;
- For these industries, provide safety goggles;
- To diabetics, make sure you have your base-line retina examination because diabetes may already affect your eye.
“Have a vision test even when you think your eye is fine. Because there are some things that are very subtle, which are already happening in your eye before the vision is affected. When the vision is already affected, it might be too late.”
Do a little test at home:
Cover one eye first, check your vision by looking at something in the distance. And repeat this with the other. If you suspect anything, get your eyes checked by an eye doctor.
There are free eye checks at PIH optical outlets at Vision City, Harbour City and PIH 3 mile.