From: Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
The Nigeria Optometric Association, on Wednesday, called on governments at all levels to ensure that adequate infrastructure and appropriate technologies were put in place so that vulnerable groups in the society have access to eyecare as well as good clinical care.
President of the association, Dr. Damian Echendu, made the call during a pre-conference press briefing held in Benin-City, the Edo State capital.
Damian said the association was in Edo State for its 41st annual National Conference on the theme “Better Eye Health : Responsibility of All.
He said that eye care has been among the most neglected of health care services, owing to the erroneous belief that eye problems are not mortal .
The NOA boss noted that the 2006 national eye survey in Nigeria showed that over 4.5million adults 40 years and above have moderate to severe visual impairment or blindness.
According to him, “Despite evidence that vision impairment increases risk of mortality and morbidity from other chronic condition and related injuries and is associated with a reduced quality of life, eye and vision health is not adequately recognised as a population health priority.”
He, therefore, noted that the more compelling consideration should have been that without functional vision, the well-being, socio-economic and earning potential of any life suffers immensely.
He maintained the time is now for all to unite in providing the necessary support required to meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Agency for prevention of Blindness (IAPB) target of reducing the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25 percent by the year 2019.
He continued, “We are challenged to create more awareness on the need for proper eye care because once ones sight is loss, it can not be regained.
“We are also putting more effort fishing out quarks in the profession, and not up to two weeks ago, we raided Benin and those apprehended are facing the Law”.