1.8 million Nigerians suffer glaucoma, patients seek government intervention
The Glaucoma Patients Care Initiative of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to come to the aid of citizens down with the condition, stating that the present statistics of 1.8 million Nigerians suffering from the disease may just be the beginning, if urgent steps are not taken to halt the development.
Members of the group, who were commemorating the World Glaucoma Week, usually celebrated on the second week of march annually, took turn to narrate their woeful experiences on the disease, while calling on all stakeholders to assist patients who are not financially capable of funding the treatment.
According to Dr. Adeola Onakoya, a Glaucoma Specialist and also the chairman of Glaucoma Society of Nigeria,” Glaucoma is a disease that affects the nerve that is in the eyes and this nerve is the optic nerve. The nerves is what actually connects the eye to the brain and whatever the eye sees that message is taken by this optic nerve to the brain for us to see. Now when this optic nerve is diseased, then one is said to have that disease called glaucoma.
“Unfortunately, glaucoma is a disease that is asymptomatic that is, if you have it, you are not likely know that you have it. Thus the main reason those who have eye problem come to the hospital is if they have eye pain or their eyes is red or they are not able to see what is in front of them.
However the disease glaucoma does not give any of this symptoms especially at the early stage of the disease but because it is asymptomatic, a lot of people who suffer from it do not know until an advance stage of the disease by which time they have already lost useful vision”.