Patients suffer as UCH abandons multi-million-naira glaucoma centre
On a Monday morning in August, when this reporter arrived at the E.N.T (ear, nose, teeth) and Eye clinic at the University College Hospital, (UCH), Ibadan, he was greeted by a crowd. The place was rowdy with people who came for one eye-related ailment or the other surrounding the only entry point to the hospital unit.
Akindele Ibrahim, a middle-aged man who has been battling eye-related health issues for over seven years, was one of those struggling to gain entry that morning.
He said he had tried several hospitals in Lagos and Ogun states in his quest to treat the defect in his eyes before he was referred to UCH
“I went to Orile-Agege in Lagos, from there I moved to Ikeja hospital at Lagos before they referred me to Ago-Ijaye at Ijebu-Igbo.
“So it is from there they just give me two options, maybe I should move to UCH at Ibadan or I should go to LUTH at Lagos also,” he told this reporter.
Mr Akindele, expressed disappointment at the stress glaucoma patients go through before receiving treatment.
If the glaucoma centre at UCH, nominated in the Zonal Intervention Projects by Abiodun Awoleye in 2017, 2018 and 2019 had been completed, perhaps, Mr Akindele and other glaucoma patients would not have to struggle to get treated at the hospital as it would provide a dedicated space for treatment of glaucoma patients.
Abandoned Glaucoma Centre
Also called the ‘the sneak thief of sight’, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally. A December 2015 research stated that between 1.1 to 1.4 million adults in Nigeria have the challenge. It also indicated that one in every 20 Nigerians aged 40 years and above has glaucoma, with one in five of them being blind.