The Eleta Eye Institute and VisionSpring have started the integration of primary eye care in selected primary health care facilities in four local governments in Oyo State, as part of a project to build the capacity of basic blindness prevention.
The Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) sponsored project involves training 25 teachers from five secondary schools to pilot four LGAs to identify common eye problems among students and promptly refer them to the participating primary healthcare facility for eye care, including the prescription of glasses. . In addition, 20 health workers from 5 primary health care centers are to be trained in the management of common eye problems.
Chairman of the National Eye Health Committee, Prof. Ernest Omoti during its inauguration in Ibadan, said the project is in line with the steps taken by the Federal Government to mainstream primary eye care in all health care facilities. primaries across the country.
According to Professor Omoti, the project led by a non-governmental organization will support the achievement of the SDG which advocates the provision of equitable health services to all, regardless of their socio-economic class.
He added: “This is the final objective of the new national health policy which has just been launched. Such a program will also help us in the first place to obtain data with which to plan while providing health services at the local government level. »
Omoti, a consultant ophthalmologist, said plans were underway by the National Eye Health Committee to obtain new data on the incidence of eye diseases and problems in the country.
According to him, “we have started doing sampling in different parts of the country, and locally we have also told our postgraduate colleges to conduct appropriate studies in all parts of Nigeria.”
The project manager for Eleta, Dr Sarah Abraham, said that under the scheme, participating primary health centers in Oluyole, Ido, Akinyele and North Ibadan local government areas will receive eye medication, refractive and reading glasses and other basics needed for eye examination and care.
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Dr Abraham said complicated eye problems will be referred through a referral system established by the project to higher education institutions with an existing consultant ophthalmologist for treatment.
According to her, “The common thing is that primary eye health care has to be seen at the CSP first, this ensures easy access to care and free treatment and we can catch cases while they are still early and send them to the right places before they develop complications.
Meanwhile, the Group Medical Director, Eleta Eye Institute, Dr. Gboyega Ajayi, said that CBM International, another organization plans to provide support for the integration of primary eye care in the 351 primary health care centers. across the state.