Emily Sanders
Fri, Aug 25, 2023 4:35 PM

Nigerian Optometric Association Calls for Improved Primary Healthcare Facilities

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Nigerian Optometric Association Calls for Improved Primary Healthcare Facilities
The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has raised concerns about the alarming state of primary healthcare facilities in Nigeria. With approximately 80% of optometrists in Nigeria working in the private sector, the association highlights the limited availability of eye care services in the public sector. This lack of accessibility and knowledge contributes to vision impairment and loss, which could affect over 1 billion people globally by 2025. The NOA urges the government to prioritize the health sector, provide necessary equipment, and emphasize the importance of regular eye exams.

The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has expressed distress over the deteriorating state of primary healthcare facilities in Nigeria. According to the association, approximately 80% of the more than 6000 optometrists in Nigeria are working in the private sector, leaving only 20% in the public sector.

This lopsided ratio means that primary healthcare, particularly in the rural and sub-urban areas where the majority of the population resides, is underserved. The NOA emphasizes that this lack of access and awareness contributes significantly to vision impairment and loss.

Dr. Anderson Chimeziri, President of the NOA, and Dr. Victor Aliche, National Secretary, signed the communique issued at the end of the 46th National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Association. They identified ignorance and poor accessibility as major causes of vision impairment and highlighted the potential for over 1 billion individuals to be blind globally by 2025.

The NOA maintains that the government has a primary responsibility to prioritize the welfare of its citizens, particularly concerning healthcare. It calls on the government to provide the necessary infrastructure and environment for people to access quality and efficient eye care services.

Furthermore, the NOA underscores the importance of addressing the underlying causes of vision problems. Poor outdoor activities and prolonged near work, such as excessive use of digital devices like computers, telephones, laptops, and tablets, contribute significantly to eye and vision issues.

The association urges parents to encourage their children to engage in healthier outdoor activities and take regular breaks from prolonged near work. A 20-second break and relaxation of the eyes by focusing on distant objects after every 20 minutes of near work can significantly reduce eye strain and related problems.

An optometrist's comprehensive eye exam can have a wide range of beneficial outcomes. Beyond detecting previously undiagnosed eye issues, such exams can also uncover underlying health problems like glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other systemic conditions.

The association stresses that sight is a critical aspect of daily life, enabling individuals to communicate and perform essential tasks. When individuals experience vision loss, it profoundly impacts their quality of life, limiting physical and social activities and potentially leading to cognitive decline.

In his address, Dr. Obinna Awiaka, the association's Former President, expressed concerns about the country's economy, security, and the escalating rates of violent clashes. He urged the government to take immediate action to address both the immediate and remote causes of these issues.

The NOA remains committed to being a law-abiding and purposeful association, dedicated to its objectives and assisting the government in achieving its healthcare-related programs.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-08-25 News

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