Optometrists advocate for inclusion of eye care in PHC services – The Sun Nigeria

ByMartha R. Camara

Oct 13, 2022

By Fred Ezeh Abuja

The Nigerian Optometry Association (NOA) has been advocating for the inclusion of eye care in primary health care (PHC) services to enable easy access, especially for children and other adolescents who are increasingly suffering from visual impairment.

The Association said records available to it indicated that one in three children in Nigeria have uncorrected visual impairment which has affected their school work, learning, hobbies, self-esteem and also encourages school absenteeism. , delinquency and abandonment.

NOA President Dr. Obinna Awiaka said in a statement on Thursday that the Association is using the occasion of World Sight Day 2022 with the theme “Love Your Eyes” to raise awareness and seek support from all stakeholders on sight issues. .

“In Nigeria, the National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey showed that uncorrected refractive errors are a major cause of visual impairment, with around 77.9% of mild visual impairment being the cause,” said he declared.

He thus encouraged all stakeholders to show commitment to the eradication of avoidable visual impairment and blindness and the associated psycho-socio and economic implications.

He added, “This year, World Sight Day was unique as it was the first time that all eye care professionals committed to working together as a team through the National Eye Health Committee platform. .

“Without a doubt, the economic, psychological and social burden of visual impairment continues to resonate and stare humanity in the face. This is because visual impairment and blindness cause a significant and growing economic burden, which not only affects people with vision loss and their families, but also societies as a whole with the consequent cost.

He therefore called on the government to take the lead and support the eye care sector in terms of increasing funding and commitment of optometrists to deliver the services they were trained to provide.

“This will go a long way in ensuring quality outcomes in the health sector. We also call on the government to ensure that eye care is effectively covered in all primary health centers across the country, providing access to those who need eye care services in remote areas,” he suggested. .