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Don urges FG to include eyecare in PHC policy as College inducts 24 new fellows

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A professor of Environmental Health at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, Prof. Agwu Amadi, has urged the Federal Government to incorporate eyecare/vision-related matters into the National Primary Health Care policy in the country, in view of the increasing cases of vision impairment.

Agwu, also appealed to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Steering Committee on the containment of the Coronavirus disease chaired by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, to mount a serious awareness campaign, asking Nigerians to apply non-pharmaceutical protective measures for the safety of their eyes the same way mouths and noses are masked against contracting COVID -19 disease.

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Agwu gave the advice in a keynote address at the weekend during the 13th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Post -Graduate College of Optometrists / Induction of 24 new fellows /convocation, held at the FUTO, themed: “Vision Care: Professionalism in a Pandemic.”

He said: “Government must incorporate eye care/vision care into the Primary Health Care policy of the country. The same care given to the nose and mouth to prevent transmission of COVID-19 must be extended to our eyes. There should be a new policy to improve research on eye health.”

Speaking separately, the Vice-Chancellor (VC), of FUTO, Prof. Francis Eze, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research Development and Innovation), Prof. Bede Anusionwu; the immediate past VC of Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Uche Ikonne; the Imo State Commissioner for Health, represented by the Director of Medical Services in the state, Dr. Victoria Ike; the acting President of the Nigerian College of Optometrists, Prof. Frankline E. Kio, said the college had maintained excellence, professionalism and standard, urging sustenance.

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They urged the inductees to be alive to their responsibilities according to the ethics and professional calling.

FUTO VC said the institution would expand its Optometry Department, in sustaining the required attention it has been giving to it, maintaining that eye health is everybody’s business, which must not be treated with kid gloves.

“It is everybody’s business to ensure eye care. We are giving attention to the Optometry Department. We are going to expand it,” Eze added.

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