UNILORIN DON INVENTS BLINDNESS DETECTION KITS
By Oreoluwa Shomuyiwa
Dr Dupe Ademola-Popoola an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin, has been granted patent on a device, Teacher Led Vision Screener (TELVIS).
The University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, states that TELVIS helps detect sight challenges in children and young people
It further explained that the device could be used particularly by teachers, to detect sight inadequacies among pupils.
The report also disclosed that the ophthalmologist invented another device known as “Vision Save.’
Vision Save was particularly useful in the course of immunisation of children between ages zero and two.
It added that the device would be good for schools for special needs to address further complications that were suffered by blind pupils
The bulletin quoted Ademola-Popoola as commending the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for granting her financial support in the production and deployment of the two devices.
The agency also offered support in the training of nonprofessionals on simple rules in the effective use of the devices.
According to the bulletin, Ademola-Popoola, praised the authorities of the university and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for rendering assistance to her research team with a grant.
It added that the university and TETFUND also trained key informants in various communities with a view to detecting those who had eye problems and providing treatment for the identified ones at minimum cost.
“The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Eye Clinic is among the leading centres offering quality services in Nigeria.
“The latest effort is expected to cover over 200,000 children of the university’s primary catchment areas.
“It is intended to enable the ordinary people benefit more from experts in order to bridge the gap between the town and the community,” it said.
The publication enumerated some of the challenges facing the war against blindness in children to include ignorance and paucity of funds.
It said that it was important for professionals of related disciplines to develop inter-disciplinary approaches in the development of skills, devices and technologies that could be used to address human challenges.
“Research has shown that most of the cases of childhood blindness are caused by communal and parental neglect.
” The neglect is usually before a woman conceives or during the pregnancy, this is as a result of omission of certain precautionary procedure, most especially on the part of mothers.
“80 per cent of learning comes from vision; once any young one loses his or her sight the existence of such person will be negatively impacted.
“When vision is good, your future will be good; anyone with perfectly working eyes is more likely to live a more accomplished life than someone who does not,’’ it said.