Ophthalmologist Cautions Against Self Medication As 123 Natives Get Free Eye Treatment, Glasses in Mbaise Village

L-R: Initiator of the Free Eye Treatment, Henry Otuechere Nwachukwu (Landlord) with Dr. (Mrs.) Melody and others.

By Tony Adibe

There was excitement on Tuesday within Umuohii Village in Oboama Autonomous Community, Ezinihitte Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State when 123 indigent natives with various eye challenges received free eye tests and treatment. The natives were advised to always avoid self-medication but to consult experts whenever they observed some eye challenges.

The advice was given by an Ophthalmologist and Medical Director of a Port Harcourt-based C.Clear Eye Clinic, Dr. (Mrs.) Clara Melody, during an interview with NewsBits shortly after a 1-day free eye tests and treatment program held at Umuohii Village.

Dr. Mrs. Melody attending to another patient 

Our correspondent reports that the patients underwent a body temperature check and eye tests before various drugs were administered on them, while free reading glasses were handed to those whose cases required glasses. 

NewsBits gathered that at least 70 % of the patients suffered cataract while 30% where having glaucoma. Dr. (Mrs.) Melody attributed the causes of the patients’ eye challenges to hereditary, self-medication, and obvious negligence.

She said: ” I notice that a lot of them have glacuoma, and most times, I notice that the cause is self medication. A lot of them (patients) have applied all sorts of things on their eyes. Some confessed that they applied urine, herbs, juice from leaves, sugar, Olive oil – which are not good for the eyes.”

She said that early detection of glaucoma could be managed but added that the patients allowed their eye problems to degenerate so badly before approaching an expert.

A cross section of natives/patients during the free eye tests and treatment 

“A lot of them have refractive problems or errors, and that’s why we dispensed a lot of glasses today,” said Dr. (Mrs.) Melody, who added: “We saw cases that require surgery; we saw cataract patients. I advised them to also visit eye specialist. I urged them to henceforth, stop self medication so that they don’t lose their sight. They shouldn’t just be going from one clinic to the other.”

The initiator/sponsor of the program, Mr. Henry Otuechere Nwachukwu, popularly called Landlord, said before now, he used to kill one cow for the villagers annually but upon realizing that the challenge of bad eyesight among villagers has been on the increase, he decided to “change the scenerio”, and focus on solving the problem rather than killing cows for the people.

“When you have no eyesight, you can’t see the beauty of things around you. But when you have a good eyesight, you can appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and his favour on you. Sight is very key to everyone’s life,” said Landlord.

He added: ” I advise people to, once in a while, do good things for your village- it could be human empowerment, poverty alleviation; let someone breathe through you but don’t expect that such a person would pay you back. Your good works would be rewarded by God, not man; that’s my belief.”

He further said: ” Today, we are giving free eye treatment to the indigent people of my village, Umuohii. I emulate good and worthy things from so many places I have visited in Nigeria. “As a traveller, I see this type of thing happening outside my area. And I decided that this sort of kind gesture would be good for my people. That’s why I brought the medical team to treat my people.”

In a chat with NewsBits, one of the beneficiaries, 74-year-old Mr. Justus Nzenwa, said he recounted to the medical team how he had spent a lot of money and visited for years a particular eye clinic at Owerri, capital of Imo, without any useful result.

Dr. Mrs Melody attending to the the 95-year-old Pa Sebastine Nwachukwu during the programme

However, Nzenwa said that “in today’s situation, not even one kobo was charged,” adding, “I don’t see clearly objects that are far with my right eye, but I’m praying God Almighty to have mercy on me so that it will be normal like the other eye.”

He said that since he was born, he never experienced “this type of kind gesture in Umuohii Village,” and prayed God to bless the other villages in Oboama Autonomous Community with young men and women like Henry Nwachukwu (alias Landlord), who are helping indigent natives in the area.

Another beneficiary, Mrs. Selina Nwachukwu, 69, said she could hardly see far objects, and also couldn’t read tiny words, a problem she has been suffering for the past six years.

Mrs. Nwachukwu, who said she had never visited any eye clinic/hospital, since she developed the eye challenge, however, confessed that she used to buy reading glasses from market, despite not being recommended by experts. She said: “Now, they have given me a reading glasses, I can notice a marked difference between those I bought from the market and this one from a professional.”

Yet, another beneficiary, 48-year-old Mr. Chizoba Amadi, a businessman said that before coming to the program, he could not read without glasses for over ten years.

Mr. Amadi, however, glorified God Almighty as the glasses given to him has solved the problem for him. “I can now read and write clearly once I wear the glasses,” he said.

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