General Overview of the History of Modern Ophthalmology in Nigeria: A Synopsis of Institutions, Events and Personalities

With contributions from many personalities, ophthalmology in Nigeria has grown over the decades. The emergence of good care has been influenced by many events and institutions, from the creation of the ECWA Eye Hospital in 1943 as one of the first indigenous dedicated Eye Hospitals, to the establishment of the National Eye Centre and the Ophthalmology Department of the University College Hospital, the specialty of ophthalmology has developed to enviable heights. The hospital has been approved for the Diploma in Ophthalmology training by the West African Postgraduate Medical College (WACS). As milestone events in history, the formation of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria in 1969 and the establishment of the National Postgraduate College and the West African College of Surgeons stand out. The Nigerian National Blindness and Visual Disability Survey (2005 to 2007) was the largest survey ever undertaken in Africa, and there were no national level figures in Nigeria prior to the survey. Including 30 months of intensive fieldwork, this gigantic undertaking took more than three years to complete and was only possible because of the special efforts of key individuals. The Eyeris Program of the MTN EYE FOUNDATION (2013 – 2017) also stands out as a landmark surgical intervention programme involving 12 states in Nigeria in all geopolitical zones. A total of 18,438 free cataract surgeries were performed, 23,528 eyeglasses and 23,226 ocular prescriptions were also provided to beneficiaries free of charge for ocular allergies, glaucoma and ocular infections. The earliest records available date from the establishment by the Sudan Interior Mission on 20 January 1943 of ECWA Eye Hospital Kano as one of the earliest indigenous dedicated eye hospitals in Nigeria.

Author (s) Details

Olufemi Oderinlo
Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, Nigeria.

Adekunle Olubola Hassan
Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, Nigeria.

Tayo Bogunjoko
Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, Nigeria.

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