The Nigeria Ophthalmic Nurses Association (NONA) has called on the Federal and State Governments to prioritize training of its members to meet up with the challenges of providing standard eye health services in the country.
The Acting National Chairman of the Association, Mr. Stephen Lamiya, made the call at the opening ceremony of the Association’s 31st Annual National Scientific and Fifth Quadrennial Delegates Conference held at the Gombe State University, Gombe.
The Chairman described as most pathetic, the state of health facilities in the country including training institutions for health professionals especially Nursing, which, he said lacked both human and material resources. A situation he said was far beyond global standard.
According to him, “We have less than 2,000 nurses in the country to render the services to the growing population. It becomes very necessary for Government at the National and States level to improve on the standard of training for ophthalmic nurses and train more in that special group to meet with the challenges of providing standard eye health services”.
He said the theme for this year’s conference ‘Vision 2020: the journey so far in Nigeria’, was chosen considering the importance of sight in our individual, groups, communities and national lives.
“It is a global initiative that aims at eliminating avoidable blindness by the year 2020. It is a joint programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)”, Mr. Lamiya explained.
Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State who was represented at the occasion by his Deputy, Hon Charles Iliya commended the Association for holding the conference in Gombe State and urged them to make judicious use of the conference in proffering solutions to the country’s health challenges.
The Association also plans to offer free optical check up and services before the end of the conference in the State.