By Omoregie Elvis, Benin
Nigeria Optometric Association has called on Government at all levels
to ensure that adequate infrastructure and appropriate technologies
are put in place so that vulnerable groups can have access to eye care
as well as good clinical care.
This call was made by Dr Damian Echendu, president of the association
during a pre-Conference press briefing held in Benin City.
Dr Damian said the association was in Edo State for its 41st annual
National Conference on the theme “Better Eye Health: Responsibility of
He said that eye care has been among the most neglected of health care
services, owing to the erroneous belief that eye problems are not
NOA boss noted that the 2006 national eye survey in Nigeria showed
that over 4.5million adults 40 years and above have moderate to severe
visual impairment or blindness.
According to him, despite evidence that vision impairment increases
risk of mortality and morbidity from other chronic condition and
related injuries and is associated with a reduced quality of life, eye
and vision health is not adequately recognised as a population health
He therefore noted that the more compelling consideration should have
been that without functional vision, the well-being, socio-economic
and earning potential of any life suffers immensely.
He therefore said that the time is now for all to unite in providing
the necessary support required to meet the World Health Organisation
(WHO) and International Agency for prevention of Blindness (IAPB)
target of reducing the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25
percent by the year 2019.
Said he, “we are challenged to create more awareness on the need for
proper eye care because once ones sight is loss, it cannot be
“We are also putting more effort fishing out quarks in the profession,
and not up to two weeks ago, we raided Benin and those apprehended are
facing the Law”.