Optometrists task govt on preventive eye care, educate Nigerians
The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) has warned that poor outdoor and prolonged near work activities like use of computers, telephones, TV, laptops, Ipads are major causes of eye problems.
It, therefore, advised parents to encourage their children to participate in healthier out-door activities and discourage them from sitting close to the TV or better still, have a break of about 20 seconds and relaxation of the eyes by looking at distant objects after about 20 minutes of near work.
In a communiqué issued after its 46th National Conference/Vision Expo and yearly General Meeting (AGM), the association urged the government to promote preventive eye care.
Signed by the President and National Secretary, Drs. Anderson Chimeziri and Victor Aliche, the body projected that over one billion people globally would be blind by 2025 in the absence of urgent interventions.
It observed that ignorance and poor accessibility were contributing majorly to vision impairment and loss.
NOA, therefore, implored the government to provide a friendly environment for people to access quality and efficient eye care services.
The organization, particularly, urged the government to implement the National Eye Health Policy, which requires engagement of optometrists at all primary health care centres for them to function effectively.
NOA regretted that about 80 per cent of more than 6,000 optometrists in the country are in the private sector, leaving behind only about 20 per cent in public service, which provide primary health care in rural and suburban areas that constitute a majority of the nation’s population.
It appealed to the government to formulate policies that ensure equipment needed by optometrists are not excessively taxed while being imported into the country.
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