I Will Revolutionize Eye Health Care – Dr Edward



Young and vibrant optometrist, Dr Chigaemezu Edward who is experiencing a meteoric rise in the eye health care terrain, has canvassed for the need of proper structures to be put in place to meet the rising need of citizens desiring access to better eye care services.

According to him “A portion of the Nigerian populace rely on Government owned hospitals to access eye care services. However, they are inadequate to cater for the people particularly those in the rural areas. Where access to same is denied, traditional treatment is resorted to which further worsens the eye problem. Then there are the challenges of inadequate optometrists to reach more people across the Nation, educate them about the eye, the partial recognition of optometrists as public health professionals and integration into public health lines, the resistance from other professionals in the health care sector among others. Leveraging on our expertise by the Government and private owned hospitals, alongside putting proper structures in place will go a long way into alleviating eye health problems.”

About his future ambition he states “My dream is to lecture, become a consultant in Optometry and be the Registrar of Optometry and Dispensing Optician Registration Board of Nigeria. However, this is just in part as I would love to helm the affairs of the Health sector in my state or nation at large. I’ve got so many great ideas that can revolutionize eye health care and would love to inject same therein. “

Speaking further on the problems that exist that he would want to effect change Dr Edward states “ One of the problems that exist that I would like to solve is Intra-professional squabbles. This is due to the emergence of Optometry which I can liken to the birth of a baby in the health sector which has been confronted with various systemic resistance.  Although the opposition has declined gradually in recent times, however, I desire to do more in this area to fully break down the wall of resistance, which in turn will lead to the desired dues we deserve in government alongside some other health privileges. There’s also an inadequate number of Optometry schools to cater for potential students of the course who desire to acquire knowledge in same. Hence, I would ensure that 90% of Health schools in Nigeria will establish Optometry schools which in turn will help create employment and foster better efficiency in practice and our reach, among other things.”

Due to the divergent functions among the related eye fields, there is the need for optometrists, ophthalmologists and opticians to work hand in hand to avoid rancor. According to him “ to avoid rancor or bad blood  among the trio, each needs to work within the allotted scope of study. Even the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the functions of the three arms of government stipulating what they can and can’t do. Similarly, it is wrong for one to trespass into another’s field. Optometrists are primary eye health care professionals, ophthalmologists are eye consultants deeply rooted in surgery, without each other the health sector as it pertains to the eyes will not be properly balanced. It is imperative for each to work within their scope of study, and by that I mean the extent to which you can treat a patient.”

It is important that eye health care be taken seriously among Millennials, Adults, with the latter looking out for children that could have vision challenges.



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