TACLOBAN CITY, Aug. 1— The Department of Health (DOH) regional office will embark on a massive training of village health workers in Eastern Visayas to prevent blindness and other eye diseases.
DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said they will start the training within the year and cover all the region’s more than 4,000 villages until 2022 in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippine Health Agenda.
“We will capacitate our local health workers to detect eye problems early and refer more serious cases to health professionals,” Molon said during the opening of “Sight Saving Month” celebration here on Tuesday.
The official noted if someone suffers sight problem, they will go directly to hospitals due to absence of ophthalmologist or trained health workers in their locality.
“As a result, our out-patient department is always congested. After the capacity-building, we expect our village health workers to make initial check-up,” she added.
The campaign will also raise public awareness on eye care and eye diseases and conditions.
Winnie Dorego, DOH regional coordinator on the prevention of blindness said the most common cause of blindness is cataract or clouding of the lens in the eye.
“The eyes needs rest and should be used properly and not be abused. To be able to take care of our eyes, we need to have a healthy lifestyle and eat right because there are foods that can prevent blindness.”
Dorego asked the public to seek medical attention from professional if they have eye problems.
“If something is wrong, people tend to buy glasses and wear it. The disadvantage of wearing ready-made eyeglasses is that it doesn’t fit or it doesn’t have the exact grade that our eyes need,” the official said.
Virginia Frividal, 65, health worker of Fatima village in this city said this is her first time to seek consultation after decade of suffering from vision problems.
“I only earn PHP2,000 monthly as health worker. I don’t have enough money to pay for my consultation,” said Frividal, one of the recipients of free consultation during the “Sight Saving Month” celebration opening.
The health department estimates that not even one percent of Filipinos with eye disease seek consultation from health professionals.
“Sight Saving Month” is an annual celebration in August aimed at strengthening public awareness of the importance of proper eye care and the prevention of blindness and eye diseases.(Sarwell Q. Meniano with reports from Alecxis L. Panganiban, PNA)