Executive Assistant, Eye Foundation Hospital Group, Frances Unuode, has disclosed that the number of people (aged 40-80 years)with glaucoma will increase to about 112 million by the 2040.
Unuode made the disclosure at a four-day symposium, held in Lagos. With the theme, “New horizon in diagnosis and management of glaucoma: Sub-Saharan perspective,” Unuode said glaucoma is disproportionately affecting people in Africa, as it remains one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide.
According to him, blindness from glaucoma is avoidable with early diagnosis and appropriate, sustained, life-long treatment. He added that many people had gone blind from the eye defect in Africa, as it is frequently undiagnosed.
He explained that inadequate treatment, with poor compliance to treatment regimens, due to limited equipment and treatment options, high cost of care and lack of awareness among patients, had made many Africans go blind through glaucoma.
He said: “In its bid to improve clinical judgment and surgical skills for glaucoma management, and to build understanding of the unique aspects of an ‘African eye’ Eye Foundation Hospital Group, thus, organised the symposium. Against this backdrop, the Eye Foundation Hospital Group organised its third biennial international glaucoma symposium, in collaboration with the Glaucoma Society of Nigeria, Cure Glaucoma and New World Medical.
“Other key objectives of the symposium were increasing proficiency in the management of glaucoma post-cataract surgery; building knowledge and capacity for adoption of best practices for treatment of glaucoma in Nigeria; enhancing understanding of critical screening criteria for glaucoma; understanding the determinants of good outcomes from trabeculectomy surgery in an ‘African eye’, and promoting better and hands-on experience on Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) in low resource economies,” Unuode explained.