Ilorin - No fewer than 25 000 people are afflicted with glaucoma in Kwara, an ophthalmologist, Dr. Ayo Bello, has said.
Bello gave the statistics while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Friday at an event organised by the Ophthalmology Society of Nigeria to mark the 2013 World Glaucoma Week in Kwara.
According to him, the patients comprised adults and children.
Bello noted that the state government had organised a series of enlightenment programmes and made fees for the treatment affordable, with a view to reducing the scourge of the disease.
These measures, he said, had led to a two per cent reduction in glaucoma cases in the state, adding that the disease is the second major cause of blindness worldwide.
Bello, therefore, advised people of the state to undertake regular medical check-up to prevent eye diseases, especially glaucoma.
He explained that the disease, caused by high pressure of liquid inside the eye, often did not present any symptom before the ultimate damage was done to the sight of the afflicted.
The ophthalmologist said that the disease was common among the black race and advised Nigerians not to treat it with levity.
NAN reports that the World Glaucoma Week is celebrated annually to create awareness on the danger of the disease.
He advised Kwara residents to take the opportunity offered by the week to undergo free eye tests in government and private eye clinics in the state.
Bello said that a Glaucoma Patients Association would soon be formed nationwide to enable patients to interact with one another and also fashion out ways of raising assistance to the victims.