By Bashir Bello
As Nigeria joins other countries to celebrate the World Sight Day, an expert and Ophthalmologist with the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH, Kano State, Dr Ibrahim Yuguda have on Thursday warned Nigerians against the use of traditional eye medication and concoction such as cow dungs, urine among others on their eyes.
This was also as he warned against patients visiting the chemists for eye drops which he said might not be hygienic for the eye, a sensitive part of the body.
Yuguda disclosed this while speaking with newsmen during the low keyed event of free eye screening and distribution of free drugs to patients to commemorate the day in the hospital.
According to him, “there was this survey carried out and we got all the ophthalmologists on eye diseases. In that survey, Cataract ranks number one followed by glaucoma which is second and other diseases that affect the eye.
“Normally, the first thing that needs to be done is eye screening to detect the common eye diseases such as redness of the eye, tearing, pain, decrease vision that we see in individuals.
“People with all these, need not go anywhere and be putting traditional eye medication or just go to the nearby chemist to say they have eye disease where they are given eye drop. Some eye drop might not be hygienic for the eye. So it is not ideal.
“Or they go and be using traditional medication or concoction. People use water, salt solution, sugar, people use urine, onion juices and cow dungs soaked and all other terrible things. These are bad activities and bad things to be done on the eyes.
“So the eye screenings are the important things to be done to detect, catch those diseases early and then intervene by given advice as well as prevent the eye from going blind or vision impairment,” Yuguda stated.
Similarly, the Head of Department, HOD, Opthalmology Department, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Dr Sadiq Hassan said the hospital is making efforts to secure a grant from Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund to carry out researches on treatments of the eye.
He said currently the hospital is offering new treatment modalities for treatment of glaucoma patients using Diode Lasser and taking data to know the effectiveness of the method.
Hassan itemized some of the challenges faced by the Opthalmology profession field in the country as a shortage of specialist, working equipment among others.
“Today’s event is about advocacy, to create awareness to the people about their vision to avoid and prevent people from blindness. In the world, about 2.2 billion people have blindness and vision impairment,” Hassan said.
Meanwhile, the patients who thronged the facility for the free eye screening and medical outreach were also given free drugs such as eye drops.