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‘Institute Performs 5,000 Cataract Surgeries Yearly’

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The Eleta Eye Institute says that it performs not fewer than 5000 cataract surgeries every year.
The institute’s Group Managing Director, Dr Benedictus Ajayi, disclosed this on the sidelines of the formal opening of the SKT-ALCON PHACO Training Institute and Ultramodern Cataract Surgery Suit and Lasers on Tuesday in Ibadan.
Ajayi, a consultant opthalmologist, said that cataract  remains a leading cause of preventable blindness and visual impairment  in people of all ages in the country.
He said that the newly equipped training institute would help address the problem of medical tourism and contribute toward the goal of tackling and preventing cataract blindness in the country.
According to him, the ultramodern cataract surgery suite and lasers will provide the phacoemulsification “phaco” and laser-assisted cataract surgery  which is currently the most common type of cataract procedure performed in developed countries.
The opthalmologist said that the laser-assisted catract surgery would offer a higher level of precision for certain steps in a cataract procedure.
“I get emotional every time I see a blind or visually impaired person.
“However, with cutting edge technological innovation, the reversal of cataract blindness is getting easier and easier.
“Today, we are gathered here to present to Nigerians one of the newest technologies in cataract surgery.
“Herein lies a complete surgical suite  with a phaco-machine and operating microscope equipped with artificial intelligence.
“This is Phase One and within the next few months, Eleta will aquire a Vitreeo-Retinal equipment, which costs about 250000 dollars to increase its reach in eye surgery.
“Once this has been acquired and installed, Nigerians would no longer need to travel outside the country for any type of eye surgery because eye care destination tourism will be here in Ibadan,” he said.
The opthalmologist said that Eleta Eye Institute had trained over 100 ophthalmologists  since its inception to address the shortage of skilled manpower in eye care and increase access to quality eye care and timely intervention.
According to him, a lot of people suffer from visual impairment and go blind due to low access to quality eye care and about half of cataract procedures  are performed by herbalists.
“As an institute we exist to provide excellence of service to the rich and the poor.
“One per cent of adults of over the age of 40 are visually impaired as a result of cataracts and most cataract surgeries are performed by quacks.
“Eleta Eye Institute is foremost in providing  surgical skill and training as well as hands-on experience to our residents.
“We are set to go higher by training Nigerian doctors in highly skilled phaco surgery and we are grateful to SKT-Alcon for their partnership and support,” he said.
The Managing Director of SKT Pharmaceutical, Dr Dung Nuhu,  said that the  phaco procedure commonly known as a Drive-in Drive Out (DIDO) surgery is performed within 90 minutes without overnight hospital stays.
Nuhu said that the modern cataract procedure usually helps restore vision lost to cataracts and reduce  dependence on eyeglasses after surgery.
“In 2010, 12 million Nigerians had cataracts and the National Eye Institute  has projected that the number is likely to grow to 30.2 million bu the year 2059.
“Thankfully, phaco cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures for tackling the scourge of catracts.
“Many cataract surgeries in Nigeria still involve the use of over 2000-year-old traditional method called couching most often with poor results.
“Other conventional surgical techniques for cataract removal though result in good visual outcomes may require a patient to be on admission for up to three weeks.
“The phaco procedure is called the drive in drive out procedure because it promotes faster healing, reduces risk of postoperative astigmatism and complications like retinal detachment.
“An uncomplicated phaco surgery lasts only about 15 minutes for experienced surgeons while the extra minutes is for preoperative and postoperative medications and evaluation.
“Most patients find it easy to resume their usual activities within two to three days of surgery including TV watching, reading, driving and resuming official duties,.
“This is why we are here today to commission one of the world’s best cataract surgery machine with state-of-the-art theatre facilities, “ he said.
Dr Ayobade Ogundipe, the President, Opthalmological Society of Nigeria, said that 95 per cent of cataract surgery is highly successful with favourable outcomes.
Ogundipe, a consultant opthalmologist at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, said that fear of surgery and hospitals, high cost of surgery, low level of awareness and poor access to quality eye care were major factors for low cataract surgery demand in the country.
He advised people to seek the help of an opthalmologist immediately cataract was noticed to prevent permanent blindness and loss of vision.

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Immunization: Sub-NIPDs Records Success In Rivers

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The four-day National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) exercise in Rivers State has come to an end with a success rate of over 90 per cent.
Making this known to The Tide, the state Immunisation Officer, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), Dr Joseph Urang, said from the commencement of the exercise, last Saturday to yesterday, health officials successfully immunized children at the designated areas in the state.
The designated areas were in 12 settlements in 12 wards of two Local Government Areas, Ahoada West and Obio/Akpor.
The settlements are Enito 2 (Emezi) Betterland (Joinkrama), Mbiama (Mbiama), Ulaubie (Ebiriba), Ugbatoanwhunig bko (Odioku) and Oshika (Upatabo), all in Ahoada West Local Government Area.
The other settlements in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area are: Utachay (Ob Ward I, Haastrup (Ob Ward II), Haruk road, Apostolic close (Obi Ward 12), Mgbuoshimini Water side (Ob Ward 10), Okoa Street (Ob Ward 13), and Rumuchinwo (Ob Ward 14).
Dr Urang stated that although some challenges aroused in the course of carrying out the immunization, but the experience in Christ Embassy church was unexpected.
“We had several challenges in churches and schools, but we were able to resolve all and successfully immunized targeted children.
But at Christ Embassy Church, particularly at Haastrup, in Orazi, we could not carry out the exercise because the authorities there said they would have to hear from their General Overseer first”, Urang said.
Earlier in an interactive session with the media, the Director, Community Health Services, RSPHCMB, Dr Isaac Opurum, stated that the sub-NIPDs was targeted at designated areas in which last year’s polio immunization recorded below 90 per cent coverage.
On his part, the coordinator, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Rivers State, Dr Imoh Ukpong explained that the sub-NIPDs was necessitated by the fact that some areas were not covered during last year’s NIPDs.
According to him, “reasons for low coverage may be due to flooding, high human traffic, logistical issues which may make it impossible for immunization commodities to go round.
The immunization exercise was targeted at children from 0-59 months.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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AGPMPN, AHAPN Want Health Reform, Industrial Harmony

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The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria and the Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria have called for a health reform and industrial harmony.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of AGPMPN, Dr Tunji Akintade, in an interview with newsmen, said a reform of the health sector in Lagos State would address the challeges facing the state health insurance scheme.
“We got a letter in November from the Lagos State Government, which said they wanted to review the Lagos State Health Law. I believe this is long overdue. There is a need for health reform in the state and we commend the government for thinking in this direction.
“The content of the reform must come up with solutions that will address current issues relating to the state health insurance. The costing is abysmally low. We cannot price the health of the public service and the private sector together. The private sector has taxes and overhead costs to settle, while government cannot pay tax to itself,” he said.
Akintade also urged state government to make available a health bank to furnish and service health facilities in the state.
“Quality health delivery comes with a price. There must also be clarity and transparency in the system. We do not have a real system in the health sector and that is one of the problems of the health insurance scheme,” he added.
The National Chairman, AHAPN, Dr Kingsley Amibor, in a statement issued on Tuesday, called for industrial harmony in the health sector.
“We are collaborating with our parent body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, regulatory agencies like the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, as well as sister associations, such as the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists in the Americas, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Industrial Pharmacists, the Nigerian Association of Pharmacists in Academia and several others to achieve our corporate goals.
“We are not at loggerheads with the government. We are ready to partner with any and all groups, including the media, that will assist us to achieve our goals.
“Based on the need to maintain transparency and integrity at all times, we did assure our members of an open door policy with accountability as our watchword.
“We have definitely made progress with our eight-point agenda. We are also working hard and fast towards the institutionalisation of pharmaceutical care in our hospitals. Our specialisation agenda is on course and our public enlightenment campaigns are equally on course,” Amibor said.
He added that the association’s efforts at integrating its members under one umbrella were also yielding positive results.

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FG To Select Teaching Hospital For Dutse Varsity

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Federal Government will select a teaching hospital for Federal University, Dutse (FUD), Jigawa State, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has said.
The minister made this known when he led a team from Federal Ministry of Health on a visit to the Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Namadi in Dutse on Monday.
He said “ we are here to assess two tertiary health facilities in Jigawa in a bid to recommend a befitting teaching hospital for Federal University, Dutse.
“We came with an open mind to select between the two tertiary health facilities of Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital, Dutse and the Federal Medical Center, Burnin kudu,” he said.
Ehanire said that the selection was to enable medical students from FUD to acquire the prerequisite toward becoming health practitioners.
He added that “ whatever is the outcome of our assessment will be made known to Mr President for him to take final decision.
“However, by the grace of God, our recommendation will be in the best interest of both the university and the state.”
Earlier, the deputy governor said that the state government had handed over Rasheed Shekoni Specialist Hospital to the university to serve as its teaching hospital.
Namadi added that the state government was also working to ensure the provision of at least one functional secondary health facility in each of the 27 local government areas of the state.
The Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad, urged the team to be fair in the selection, noting that “even though the two facilities are located within my emirate, I will plead with you to put into consideration the students who may be at the receiving end of your decision.”

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