The Royal National Institute of Blind People RNIB in Scotland organized a special event to raise awareness on the importance of regular eye exams for African-Scots. This event was held at Glasgow Caledonian University on Cowcaddens Road.
Speakers at this event shared data about the increased risk people of African descent have for developing eye conditions, especially glaucoma . Although glaucoma can lead to blindness, eye doctors can catch the disease early with regular checkups. If glaucoma is caught early enough, eye doctors can prescribe pressure-reducing drops to prevent the disease's progression.
Leaders at this meeting informed and encouraged Africans in Scotland to get their eyes checked at least once a year. Although this event took place in Glasgow, event organizers hope this information will help all residents of the UK.
This was all done as a part of the UK Black History Month, which is meant to support citizens of African and Caribbean descent living in the UK. This national holiday was created in the 1980s in part to combat racism and promote the ideal of a multicultural UK.
Everyone in attendance at Glasgow Caledonian University received detailed information on how to get in contact with the NHS and about free eye screenings in Scotland. The NHS provides UK residents all across Scotland with one free eye exam every year. This program has been intact since 2006, and it has secured funding for next year.
One of the more prominent speakers to take the stage was Gozie Joe Adigwe. Adigwe serves as the RNIB Scotland equality officer, and she is a African-Scot herself. She made it very clear in her speech that many Black Africans are not aware of the greater risk they have for developing glaucoma. She urged all Africans in Scotland to take advantage of the great health care coverage provided by the NHS.
People at this conference were also informed about the life of Patricia Era Bath, an African-American ophthalmologist in the USA. Bath was born in Harlem in 1942 and has made great contributions to the field of ophthalmology. Some of her inventions and findings were discussed and championed at this Glasgow event.
Glasgow has the third largest population in all of the UK, with an average of 600,060 residents in the city center. Although this has been a very important city for the Scottish identity, serving as the major hub for intellectuals of the 18th century's Scottish Enlightenment, this city has also been a major destination for overseas immigrants. About 2.4 percent of the total Glasgow population has emigrated from Africa.