Medical Practitioner to El-Rufai: Provide eye-care units in PHCs to prevent blindness



An Ophthalmologist, Dr. Emelike Prince-Henry has appealed to Kaduna State Government to establish Eye-care units in Primary Health Centers to control blindness in rural communities.
Prince-Henry, an official of Gwamna Awan General Hospital, Kakuri, in Kaduna, expressed this while speaking in Kaduna.
The official said, the establishment of eye-care units in Primary Health Centers will assist in the control of blindness among the communities.
“Based on existing surveys and statistics, the people in the rural and sub-urban areas are the worst hit when it comes to debilitating eye conditions, low vision and total blindness.
“Hence, the only way to wipe out preventable blindness is by starting from the grassroots,” he said.
According to him, in as much as the urban dwellers have needs for proper Eye care, we believe the rural and sub-urban areas need healthcare services more.
“Most of the rural dwellers still cling on a lot of crude practices that have done more harm than good when it comes to eye health.
“For instance, in this age, some people are still instilling substances like urine and breast milk in their eyes to cure conjunctivitis.
“This goes to highlight the obvious need for sensitization, awareness campaigns and need for standby Doctors and Optometrists in our communities, Primary Health Centers (PHCs) to render first hand Eye-care services and proper counselling.”
He added that setting up a basic eye clinic does not require much funds.
“State and Local Government Authorities can take up these mini projects and save the eyes of millions, gradually going blind daily simply because of ignorance, lack of basic eye-care facilities, or lack of funds to visit expanded facilities.”
He however noted that, some already established doctors in the urban settlements may not find it easy to relocate to PHCs in the rural areas; but Corps Doctors of optometry can effectively be used to run eyecare units in PHCs in all the 774 Local Government Areas.


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