THE Eye Foundation Hospital Group recently organised a 3rd Biennial International symposium in Lagos as part of its ongoing efforts and collaborations to raise awareness on glaucoma and improve access to quality care and management of eye disease in Nigeria.
Glaucoma remains one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide. It is projected that the number of people (aged 40-80 years) with glaucoma will increase to about 112 million people by the year 2040, disproportionately affecting more people in Afica.
While blindness from glaucoma is avoidable with early diagnosis and appropriate, sustained, life-long treatment, people still go blind from it in Afrca due to the high cost of care and lack of awareness among patients.
Similarly, it is frequently undiagnosed, inadequately treated or treated with poorcompliance to treatment regimens due to limited equipment and treatment options.
The theme of the symposium: New Horizon in Diagnosis and Management of Glaucoma – Sub-Saharan Perspective.
The symposium drew over 82 participants from Nigeria and other countries, such as Ghana, United States, Burkina Faso and United Kingdom. It provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing, transfer of skills and training in an effort to improve glaucoma diagnosis, treatment and management not only in Nigeria but also in West Africa/sub-Saharan Africa.
Partners and experts in the field of glaucoma from across Nigeria and internationally moderated different sessions over the four-day event on topics which included: Improving clinical judgment and surgical skills for Glaucoma Management; Building understanding of the unique aspects of an “African eye;” Increasing proficiency in the management of glaucoma post-cataract surgery; Adoption of best practices for treatment of glaucoma in Nigeria, among others.
At the event, patients enjoyed free screening as 153 patients were screened for glaucoma while 70 patients accessed free surgeries to manage their glaucoma as part of efforts to providing a platform for raising awareness on access to quality care and management.
The free surgeries were undertaken at two locations –The Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja and Deseret Community Vision Institute, the not-for-profit arm of the Eye Foundation Hospital Group, in Ogun State.
The event was organised by the Eye Foundation, in partnership with professionals in the Sub-specialty of glaucoma and other stakeholders like Galucoma Society of Nigeria, Care Glaucoma Foundation, Novartis, Health Partners Ltd, New World Medica, Summit Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd, St Edmund’s Hospital, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie and Xapon Nigeria Limited.