Optometric association urges incoming health minister to prioritise rural healthcare

THE Lagos State Chapter of Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) on Monday expressed the hope that the incoming Minister of Health would make rural healthcare a priority.

The association’s state Chairman, Dr John Samssedi, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that not much attention was given to eye care and rural healthcare services at the level.

According to him, that is why most of the times, rural healthcare is left in the hands of traditional attendants.

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He was reacting to the newly nominated Ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The candidate should be someone that would be able to deal with problems at the Primary Health Care, in terms of making sure that rural eyecare and rural healthcare are well taken care of.

“Attention has not properly been paid to eye care and healthcare services at the level in all its ramifications, including the poor quality of doctors.

“This has left healthcare in the hands of traditional attendants who are not qualified to take charge.

“These people do not have the proper channels to give feedback to the state in terms of how they administer drugs, hence, the reason there are lots of malpractices at the level,’’ he said.

Samssedi argued that any health system that must be very effective must take its primary healthcare intervention programmes into cognisance.

“So, whoever the minister will be, should be someone with a large heart, vision and foresight to strategically intervene in every sphere of the health sector.

“He must carry along all stakeholders without giving preference to a few,’’ he said.