Dr Dupe Ademola-Popoola, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), has dismissed speculations on people with blue eyes, saying they are normal human beings.
She said on Wednesday in Ilorin that the speculation that such people are abnormal is not true, as people base their stigma on myths and ignorance against blue-eyed people in the society.
Recently, there is the case of one Mrs Risikat Abdulazeez and her children who have blue eyes, a genetic mutation, who was allegedly abandoned by her husband in Ilorin.
The expert explained that having blue eyes is genetically transmitted when something happened to alter the genetic makeup of such a baby from womb.
“The lack of melanin in the iris is usually the reason for blue eyes.
“That is why two black persons can have an Albino child. We have people who are albinos only in the eyes.
“Stigma on blue-eyed people is as a result of ignorance. Are you aware that there are people who buy contact lenses coloured like the children’s eyes for up to N8,000 every month to look like them? They are really beautiful,” she said.
The ophthalmologist added that “blue eyes are normal; some people with such eye colour may, however, be related to other eye and general problems like deafness, kidney, cancer, and adrenal cancers.
“Once those are ruled out, other care will be to optimise the eye function if they have far sightedness, sun protection will also usually be helpful.”
The consultant added that the Ilorin blue-eyed woman and her immediate family received free eye examination with top of the range equipment known as Retinomax K Plus ScreenHand held Autorefractor, ICare ic 200 Tonometer, Fundus eye examination with lenses and Smartphone, TELVIS VISION Screening Kits.
According to her, the equipment used on the blue-eyed family costs over 20,000 dollars, which was funded by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) for Child Blindness Programme.
“This equipment is for child eye care made available to us courtesy of our ongoing Child Eye Projects in Kwara and across Nigeria,” she said.
The expert also said that the family was counselled on how best to manage the eyes now and going forward.
“This equipment are available in only about two centres in Nigeria and have been used to cater for the needs of children with special needs in Kwara and six states across
Nigeria,” she said.