…appeals for employment of members

As part of its activities to mark the 2023 World Sight Day, the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Edo State Chapter, at the weekend embarked on free eye screening for staff of Edo State Internal Revenue Service (EIRS) and Sports Commission.

Speaking with journalists during the twin exercises, the state NOA Chairman, Dr. Charles Eguavoen, commended Governor Godwin Obaseki for his exemplary leadership resulting in the unprecedented development in the state.

Dr. Eguavoen, who was full of admiration for the governor, thanked Obaseki for the employment of 11 optometrists, just as he appealed for employment of more of his members in the state.

“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency to employ optometrists. Optometry profession is a primary eye care profession,” Dr. Eguavoen said.

“How can you reduce blindness in Edo State without optometrists in Primary Health Centres? One or two optometrist per local government is what we are asking for. Optometrists in Primary Health Centres will ensure smooth referral to secondary and tertiary health institutions for severe cases requiring surgeries and management. The number of patients from rural settings receiving eye treatment will increase with more referrals to secondary/tertiary health institutions.

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“In 2017 where the Governor was a guest at the National Conference and AGM of the Nigerian Optometric Association, the Governor promised that optometrists will be involved in all the stages of development of health care management.

“The non-inclusion of optometrists in the recent advertisement by the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency was a huge shock to the association in the state and both the national level and not in line with the promises/policies by the Governor. We plead with the governor who is an Ambassador to Eye Care in Nigeria to consider our request towards efficient delivery in the eye care sector.

“There are many individuals who fall into the hands of quacks and destroy their eyes with traditional medicines in rural settings,” he said.

On the issue of quacks, the association said it has zero tolerance for the practice of quackery in the profession and advised Edo residents not to patronise unprofessional eye doctors who are moving from place to place most times without definite office.

It frowned at the practices of unregistered mobile eye care givers who are putting the eyes of the people at risk, just as it berated some NGOs who move from one location to another to deceive and extort the people.