8 million Nigerians have visual impairment – Opthalmologist

AN ophthalmologist with the Kwara State Civil Service Hospital, Dr Abubakar Ayinla, has said that between seven and eight million Nigerians have visual impairment due to refractive errors.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Wednesday, Dr Ayinla said that 2007 survey figure of the Nigeria National Blindness and Low Vision for those that had visual impairment was between four to five million in the country, adding that the figure had since increased.

The Ophthalmologist, who said that refractive error is one of the major vision related challenges being faced by both adults and children in the country, added that solution to such challenges, was the use of recommended glasses which he said would eventually correct the problem or other refractive interventions.

Dr Ayinla explained that the use of glasses or spectacles is a device, which provides intervention for people who have visual challenges but cautioned against purchase of road side glasses without prior evaluation or test by a competent medical personnel.

The Ophthalmologist appealed to parents to always cross check eyes of their children and wards and subjects them to regular eye test to avoid sudden blindness.

He stressed the need for commercial drivers to embark on regular eye test to enable them see clearly while on highways as well as comply with FRSC guidelines to save people’s lives.

Dr Ayinla, the former Chairman of the State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) disclosed that the state government had put in place all that is needed to take care of the eyes in collaboration with care givers, to ensure regular eye check.