Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Ayade unveils free children’s vision unit in Calabar; trains teachers ahead of enrollment into school for the blind

|14 February 2018 | correspondent

The Cross River State Government in collaboration with Brien Holden Vision Institute has set up a free Children’s Eye Unit at the Cross River State Eye Care Program Clinic.

In his remark at the opening ceremony, His Excellency, Sen. (Prof.) Ben Ayade, the Executive Governor of the State who was represented by the Honorable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, opined that the initiative clearly illustrates the compassion and importance his administration places on assuaging some of the healthcare needs of the school-aged children. Whilst commending the hard work of the health team across the State, Governor Ayade acknowledged the support provided by the ‘Seeing is Believing Project in Nigeria’ which worked in collaboration with Brien Holden Vision Institute for the actualization of the free Children’s Vision Unit.
Cross River State Commissioner for health Dr. Mrs. Iyang Asibong
and members of Brien Holden Vision Institute  
As part of efforts to sustain children’s eye health care, the first set of fifteen opticians who recently graduated from the College of Health Technology in the State will be undergoing further trainings as they’re already being absorbed into the State health sector to boost its workforce, while another batch is currently on six months industrial training attachments across facilities in the State pursuing children vision courses. The State is also training teachers ahead of the September enrolment of pupils into the Cross River State School for the blind and special needs children.

This is in addition to the plans of the State Government to scale-up children healthcare unit which is domiciled in five Local Government Areas to other parts of the state.

Speaking earlier the Africa Regional Director, Brien Holden Vision Institute, Mrs. Petronella Nichols said the success of the commissioning of the free Children’s Vision Unit is because of the partnership her organization has with the Cross River State Government and its conducive working environment. She lauded all stakeholders in the State for their co-operation and positive contributions that made the project come to fruition.

The wife of the Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade represented by the Executive Director of the Mediatrix development Foundation, Mr. Jeffrey Adamade said safeguarding the vision and general well-being of children is a must for every developing country, and Cross River State is championing that course.
A child being  attended to at the newly unveiled vision center

The Commissioner for Education Obol Godwin Ettah, represented by the Director of Administration in the Ministry, Mr. Chris Abia; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Joseph Bassey; Director Eyecare Program in the State, Dr. Stephen Agbor; and Provost, College of Health Technology, Dr. (Mrs.) Janet Adah among other representatives of organizations also took turns to air their support for the initiative.