The President, Nigeria Optometric Association, Dr. Chimeziri Anderson, says that routine blood pressure and fasting blood sugar tests play critical roles in ensuring comprehensive eye health care.
He said this during a rally carried out at the weekend as part of week-long activities to mark World Sight Day in Abuja.
The Community Eye Health Epidemiologist said it was necessary to ensure that those tests were integrated into Primary Care Services covered by the Health Maintenance Organisations.
This, he said would make them accessible and affordable.
He further said that as an association, NOA aims to promote holistic health and early detection of underlying conditions that can impact vision, and called for collaboration with other relevant stakeholders.
“We believe that collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Development Agency, HMOs and the Nigerian Health Insurance Authority is essential to successfully driving this initiative”, he added.
Anderson said the theme of this year’s World Sight Day, Love Your Eyes At Work, captures the essence of promoting a culture of love and care for the eyes.
He, therefore, advised Nigerians to go for regular eye checkups, practice eye safety, live healthy lifestyles and spread awareness of the importance of eye health.
He also called on NOA members to use the opportunity of the commemoration to engage policymakers and community leaders on eye health.
“Let us reach out on advocacy visits to policymakers and community leaders to make more funds available for eye care.
“They should also recognise the need to deploy eye care professionals to underserved communities and regions,” he advised.
World Sight Day is an annual event observed every October 12, as an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on the importance of eye care.
NOA said collaboration between it and other stakeholders would not only enhance eye health but also contribute to overall well-being, thereby, aligning with its shared goal of comprehensive healthcare for all Nigerians.
On this year’s occasion, the association also advocates the assurance of high-quality standards in optical lenses, tools, and equipment imported into the country.
“We are committed to safeguarding the visual health of our citizens, and this can only be achieved through stringent adherence to internationally recognised standards.
“We recognise the importance of a close partnership with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to ensure that all optical products entering the Nigerian market meet the required quality and safety benchmarks”, Anderson further said.