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By NBF News
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Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN) has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to promptly implement the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for the benefit of Nigerians, in order for the country to have a comprehensive health care.

Speaking during the Joint 36th OSN and First AOF Congress of the society in Lagos with the theme 'Extending the frontiers of ophthalmology in Nigeria', the President, OSN, Dr. Kunle Hassan said government at various levels will do well to provide medical facilities for indigent patients who need medical/surgical intervention as a form of social service.

He also emphasised the need to include ocular examination for new born and pre-school children in the National Health Programme for early detection of cases of retinoblastoma and other causes of childhood blindness, to ensure better prognosis was also emphasised by the association.

According to him, government should provide manpower and equipment to handle complications of optical emergencies for patients who need facilities for retinal detachment surgeries.

The practitioners in the field of ophthalmology were also advised to create more awareness about harmful traditional eye medications (HTEM) and practices that can expose Nigerians to problems in the eyes.

In their Presentation titled: The Pattern, Distribution and Management of Red Eyes in Nigeria presented at the conference, frontline ophthalmologists, Festus Oshoba and Bose Madubu reiterated the need for practitioners to always provide information to Nigerians on available medical and surgical facilities through various available media (radio, television, newspapers, posters, handbills, town criers) in villages and other areas.

According to them, safety measures must be applied at home and at work place to prevent eye injuries adding that workers should be encouraged to wear protective goggles when welding or grinding.

'Bottled soft drinks and beer should be handled with caution to prevent ocular injuries from accidental explosion which could be devastating. Manufacturers are also advised to place warning labels on those drinks that are under high pressure and which are prone to explosion.

'Aggressive Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) with associated Vitamin A supplementation  must  still  be  promoted  to  achieve  100%  uptake  in   developing countries,' said Oshoba.

The OSN founded in 1969 has an objective to promote excellence in the practice of Ophthalmology, the care of the blind and the prevention of blindness in Nigeria.