NOA 43 AGM kicks off in Calabar, tasks FG on visual impairment in Nigeria
Amidst challenging eye issues in the country, the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has charged the federal government to design policies and programmes that will give attention towards tackling visual impairment and other eye related diseases in the country.
President of the Association, Ozy Okonokhua who said this while speaking at the association’s 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Expo on the theme; Achieving Universal Access to Eye Health: The Way forward at the Calabar International Conference Centre (CICC) yesterday, pointed out that “if policies and programmes are designed in a manner that eye related problems are built into budgets of primary health cares nationwide, it will lead to a drastic reduction in the disease in various communities and the rate of blindness and visual impairment will be reduced to the barest minimum”.
Accordingly, he charged the federal Government to design policies and programmes that can pave way for the utilisation of existing human resources for health as a priority.
They charged President Buhari’s led administration to pay attention to the needs of the Board by providing more funding for regulation of optometry practice in view of high economic consequence of refractive error and visual impairments in Nigeria.
NOA had in an earlier media briefing disclosed that from research, 80 percent of blindness is found in developing countries and Nigeria is one of such countries, hence the federal Ministry of Health should make the engagement of optometrists a priority in the health sector said elimination of blindness is a simple process that requires simple budget intervention and cooperation of all stakeholders.
The president, who also decried that the appointment of the Minister of Health should not be restricted to medical doctors only, said the association has not been given proper relevance in the health sector.