By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos – The Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA) says there is need for Lagos State Government (LASG) to establish eye care centres at its upgraded Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state.
According to the association, this step will help to ensure that people, especially those at the grassroots have access to good eye care.
The State Chairman of NOA, John Samssedi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
“The primary healthcare centres will not be useful without having an eye care personnel on board.
“Government said it has revamped 73 out of the 300 PHCs in Lagos State; however, it will not be useful if it is revamped without having an eye care personnel on board.
“Currently there are about nine engaged on locum basis; so if they can increase it, it will be great.’’
Samssedi said:“If they can have more internship programmes for the General Hospitals and have more optometrists engaged at the primary healthcare level, then we will indeed be taking eye care to the grassroots.
“This is because it is not just dealing with the elite alone who can take care of themselves but about an average Nigerian.
“We are talking about Nigerians living in Ikorodu, Igbogbo, Epe and the likes, who may not be able to access the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and other secondary facilities because of the crowd and time.’’
He said the centres should also be fully equipped with doctors to treat people for any kind of sickness and at an affordable bill.
Samssedi also urged governments to improve on the welfare of doctors as Nigerian doctors were willing to work if well taken care of.
He said that most of the time when doctors have had to go on strike, it had been to press home their demands for the interest of the masses and save the healthcare delivery system from malfunctioning.
He commended the state government for putting structures on ground for a better healthcare system, but urged it to take further steps and improve on what is currently on ground.