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FG tasks optometrists to reduce rate of avoidable blindness

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Blindness.<br />Photo credit: Lifehack

Worried that over a million Nigerians are blind and another three million are visually impaired, the federal government has tasked optometrists to brace up to the challenge of reducing avoidable blindness in the country.

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole who stated this in Abuja during the opening of the 42nd Annual Conference and the 50th anniversary of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) urged professionals to strengthen optometrics in the country to respond to the huge need.

Adewole, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry spoke on the theme of the conference: Optometrics: a call to globalization, stressed the need to emphasize the universal eye health which is a global action plan covering the period of 2014-2019.

He pointed out that major causes of blindness are either preventable or curable adding that the federal government has developed a National Eye Health Policy in 2014, to enhance universal eye health in line with the World Health Organization framework.

The National President, Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) Damian Echendu in his remark pointed out that the conference was aimed at charting a new course of action for optometrist and eye care service in Nigeria.

He noted that the vision of the association was to create a world where no one is blind and those who are visionless can reach their potentials adding that they also aim at reducing blindness to the barest minimum and provide affordable eye care to members of the public

Noting that they were also celebrating 50 years, Echendu said the profession has scaled several hurdles and has been able to develop eye care services, which is noticeable in terms of public sector employment and private sector development.


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