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Looming blindness epidemic in Nigeria

Looming blindness epidemic in Nigeria
Photo by Commonwealth Secretariat- Ask Nigeria

FG should works towards avoiding a blindness epidemic in the country.

Out of the almost 300 million people that are blind in the world, it has been revealed by optometrists that 7 million people in Nigeria are blind. Across the world, almost 40 percent live with visual disability, with Nigeria having about 50 million people that have one form of visual disability or the other, causing limitations to their ability to do things, learn, work, or play. The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), established in 1968, seek solutions to the illness.

Dr. Obinna Awiaka, The National President, Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), before the commencement of the NOA 45th National Conference and Vision Expo, in Abuja, stated that 80 percent of the causes of blindness and visual disabilities in the world are unavoidable. Many people ignorantly refuse to do eye examinations periodically or stick to preventive measures early. In worst cases, some patronize quack doctors who, most times, complicate their problems, thereby, making them spend more on a worsened problem.

Brain drain has worsened the burden of blindness in Nigeria.

It has been deduced that to have healthy eyesight, the resources needed makes up about 15 percent of what Nigeria or individuals will gain in productivity per annum, if blindness is effectively fought against. Also, it has been discovered that the substantial brain drain of eye care professionals and many other health care professionals from Nigeria to other countries has really complicated the burden of blindness statistics in the country, and this requires urgent attention from all stakeholders, in order to avoid a blindness pandemic.

The theme of the national conference, “leveraging on partnerships to transform optometry and eye care in West Africa” gave an opportunity for stakeholders and experts to deliberate on issues affecting the profession, share ideas, knowledge and skills on the best way to overcome challenges and elevate the profession for the good of Nigerians. Also, optometrists and other experts in the eye care industry, during the conference, engaged in scientific sessions on research findings, innovations, and eye care improvements.

FG should pay attention to the plight of health workers.

In addition to the agenda of the national conference, there were deliberations on eye care delivery issues, spanning all health care levels, advocacy campaigns on eye health to target audiences and consultations on organized practice of optometry and training, locally, regionally, and globally. About 100 different exhibitors from respectable companies and industries, across the world, organized a broad showcase of their products and services. The conference also gave room for socio-cultural understanding of cultures in Nigeria, giving opportunity for business and social interactions as well.

The national president urged the federal government to attend to issues concerning the needs to healthcare workers in Nigeria, so as to enable the country a chance to fight and avoid the looming blindness epidemic. Adequate attention should be paid to eye care at all levels of healthcare, mostly primary eye care, in order to make sure that many more people are reached. To achieve this with the desired result, more optometrists are needed.

NOA would not cease to give their best to eye care.

Dr. Awiaka pledged that, as eye care professionals, they would never cease to give their best towards the changing of the narrative. Therefore, he calls on all potential stakeholders and other professionals to join hands together for the improvement of the delivery service of eye care in Nigeria. People should also go for regular eye examinations to know the state of the eye and take preventive measures in case of any diagnosis, to avoid blindness.


Related Links

NOA:  Website

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Ask Nigeria
Ask Nigeria
4 months ago

Looming blindness epidemic in NigeriaFG should works towards avoiding a blindness epidemic in the country.Express your point of view.

DimOla
DimOla
4 months ago

It will be possible to avoid blindness epidemic if the present government could pay attention to the health care givers and make sure they are well paid.
With the increase in prices of everything most Nigerian especially the less privileged can’t afford sure medical treatment.
The federal government doesn’t have any plans nor vision either for this sector that is the reason why we’re experiencing brain drain in the health sector daily.
I will like all well meaning stakeholders in the country to partner with NOA to be able create awareness and also to assist in reducing the cost of eye treatment.

Haykaylyon26
Haykaylyon26
4 months ago

Government should pay more attention to health sector which is one of important sector. If more attention is giving we might be able to reduce all this kind issue like blind pandemic and so on required equipment and resources should be provide and awareness on preventive measure , those blind ones should not be neglect. Let do necessary thing to avoid all is blindness pandemic

Christiana
Christiana
4 months ago

The bad government we have in this country is causing more harm to us . The government should know that health sector is a very important sector, it deals with life of people. They should attend to their needs and pay them well so they can be motivated to treat the patients with utmost care

Bola12
Bola12
4 months ago

One thing is for the government to pay attention to the health sector, but not only that will help, the government should also try to organize seminars and lectures about things causes blindness that people might be ignorant about

theApr
theApr
4 months ago

If eighty percent of the causes of visual disability and blindness in the world are unavoidable, then there should be enough awareness on hiw to avoid the rest twenty percent. The NOA seem to have like a good plan in managing the situation; wish them success.

Tolaniiii
Tolaniiii
4 months ago

Honesty I feel money should not be a reason for the health workers to put aside their duty, this doesn’t mean that what the government are doing is right . But the health workers should try to help as much as they can. And enlightening people should also be of of duty.

Abusi
Abusi
4 months ago

This is saddening. There are alot of blond people in Nigeria who needs utmost health care. The numbers are scaring, something needs to be done urgently. This is why it’s important for employers to also provide good working conditions for their staffs. The opticians in Nigeria also need to equipped.

jdpumping
jdpumping
4 months ago

Things just seem so hard to achieve in Nigeria our eye is so paramount to all why would the government not be pro active about this…primary eye care is so important and things need to be done fast and more awareness should be made so people would see the need to care for their eyes

Tonerol10
Tonerol10
4 months ago

This is too bad, people need to be educate about the important of regular eye check-up. Most people don’t even know that they have eye problem until it get worsen. Yes Government is not trying but this one concerned us. We don’t need to wait for Government on this one. My advice for Nigerians…
Everyone should go for eye check-up regular. The earlier the better. Thanks

AN-Abiodun
Member
4 months ago

This is sad, Nigeria’s health sector really needs a lot of reformation.

Imagine, NOA President said that 80 percent of the causes of blindness and visual disabilities in the world are unavoidable.

That means every individual needs a regular eye check.

SarahDiv
SarahDiv
4 months ago

Of course there will be brain drain in the health care sector when the sets of government we are having presently is an insensitive one that does not care what the masses are passing through nor the needs of the health care givers. It will be better if we can educate ourselves by sensitisation on the need to take good care of our eyes otherwise the percentage of those with blindness will increase.

Godsewill Ifeanyi
Godsewill Ifeanyi
4 months ago

People should get regular eye exams in order to be aware of the condition of their eyes so they’ll be able to take care of it.

Iyanu12345ogg
Iyanu12345ogg
4 months ago

The government should know that health sector is a very important sector, it deals with life.
Organizing seminars about the causes of blindness will sure help people who are ignorant.
They should employ workers and make sure they are well taken care of…this would motivate them to treat the patients with utmost care. Government should make provision for necessary things needed.

AN-Usman
Member
4 months ago

To prevent blindness, people should get frequent eye exams to monitor their eye health and take preventative action if necessary.

Ultra0711
Ultra0711
4 months ago

We all know that prevention is better than treatment, and due to carelessness and ignorance, some people have become blind from quite little issues. People should consult an eye care specialist even if their eye problem is minor.

Taiwoo
Taiwoo
4 months ago

Because many Nigerians, particularly those with lower incomes and fewer opportunities, are unable to pay for reliable medical care, the government is required to make healthcare accessible at affordable prices.

Remi1
Remi1
4 months ago

In order for Nigeria to have a fighting chance against the impending blindness epidemic and a chance to avoid it entirely, the federal government needs to address issues concerning the needs of healthcare workers in the country.

Nwachukwu Kingsley
Nwachukwu Kingsley
4 months ago

There are a lot of people who, out of ignorance, won’t get regular eye exams or take preventative measures when they should, and this is a very bad thing.

Hassan Isa
Hassan Isa
4 months ago

When people have problems, some of them go to quack doctors, who, most of the time, make their problems worse and cause them to spend more money trying to fix a situation that is getting worse.

Chibuzor
Chibuzor
4 months ago

We have lost a lot of health workers, including opticians, to foreign countries, which can cause blindness rates to increase in the country.

Adesanyaj72
Adesanyaj72
4 months ago

People should try to visit hospitals when they have even the slightest health issue. All this big problems start from little issues that weren’t attended to properly.

Yomii
Yomii
4 months ago

Ignorance is the order of the day when it comes to Nigerians and things regarding eye care. Government should set up enlightenment programs for the people so they take more informed decisions.

Adeolastan
Adeolastan
4 months ago

Government should work on the health sector seriously because Nigeria is loosing it seriously in term of health,no competent professional again because of brain drain also most of the health equipment are outdated.

Khalifa001
Khalifa001
4 months ago

The number of blind people in Nigeria is big 50 million have different kind of blindness with Nigeria the highest country with blindess I think the government should look into it and check if there is a reason thinks are happening like that

Mercy unisex saloon
Mercy unisex saloon
4 months ago

Eye care services in Nigeria today should be free. Nigeria should be able to have free healthcare that would benefit all Nigerians rich or poor. People going blind are not willing to see a doctor because of poverty. The govt should at least covered the cost to see a doctor and the patient can cover the cost of medication.