More than 3,000 glaucoma patients received treatment at Obafemi Awolowo University and Teaching Hospital Complex, OAUTHC, in the past one year.
Prof Bernice Adegbehingbe, Head of Ophthalmology at OAUTHC, made the disclosure during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on the 2023 World Glaucoma Week.
The theme of this year’s event is “The world is bright, save your sight”.
This year’s World Glaucoma Week from March 13 to 16, features Glaucoma awareness talk, radio programme and screening for the patients, among others.
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According to her, Glaucoma leads to total blindness and the common causes of irreversible blindness.
Adegbehingbe, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, said that early diagnosis remained the only way out to avoid glaucoma.
The ophthalmologist stated that anybody above 40-years with family history of diabetes, hypo/hypertension, migraine, sickle cell patients are prone to have glaucoma, because it is hereditary.
She advised all to check their eyes at least once in two years, for them to ensure their safety optically for 50 per cent.
Adegbehingbe condemned the lackaidasical attitudes of Nigeria leaders over the health and eye care.
She said that only government workers were enjoying health insurance scheme, compared to what obtained in developing countries.
She urged government to mandate glaucoma test for students seeking admission from primary to tertiary institutions as well as the job seekers in order to eradicate the diseases among the young and aged.
Adegbehingbe noted that while eye sight of cataract patient could be restored through surgery, glaucoma had no remedy.
She commended government and private bodies which organised cataract surgery, free eye screening and glasses for the public and called for more emphasis on glaucoma.
She appealed to government and philantorpists to subsidise drugs for glaucoma patients in view of their high costs.
Adegbehingbe also urged government to place treatment and drugs for glaucoma patients under NHIS for the relief of the patients.
Also, the President, Glaucoma Association of Nigeria, OAUTHC, Mrs Lydia Oke, lauded ophthalmologists at the teaching hospital for giving glaucoma patients the best treatment.
Oke urged government to come to their aid by subsidising their drugs which she said were too expensive, saying that many glaucoma patients were already going blind due to inadequate care.