Doctors at the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, have been commended for successfully launching Corneal Refractive Surgery (CRS) services using the laser machine, the first of its kind in a Nigerian public hospital.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday during the routine one month follow-up on all the five pioneer patients treated via Corneal Refractive Surgery, one of the patients, who is a civil servant, Aisha Suleiman Abdullahi, who had refractive error and had used glasses for three years said she was scared initially.
A 21-year-old student in Zaria, Barakah Yusuf, said, “I had been using glasses for seven years but, after this Corneal Refractive Surgery in January 2023, I now do everything without glasses. I will always sell this Refractive Surgery idea to as many people as possible because it is worth doing.”
Other patients, Aisha Nuhu and Zuwaira Jafar, who spoke differently, confirmed that the Refractive Surgery may cost over 3 to N4 million or even more in India and Saudi Arabia but they had it at the Centre free of charge. They commended the doctors at the National Eye Centre for their level of professionalism and competence.
Speaking on the essence of the Corneal Refractive Surgery Services at National Eye Centre Kaduna, the Chief Medical Director, Doctor Mahmoud Babanini Alhassan, said, “We want to bridge the technology gap between Nigeria and Europe and reduce medical tourism. We promise to give evidence- based care to our patients.”
Dr Alhassan said three of the surgeons that were on the team for the surgery of the patients were trained abroad in big hospitals and establishments in India.
We will continue to train and retrain the doctors and support staff to adopt new technologies and skills for efficiency.”
Earlier, a consultant ophthalmologist with the National Eye Centre, Dr Peter Jiya, said CRS is not a new procedure adding that over 9.5 million people in the United States of America and more than 40 million worldwide have had Corneal Refractive Surgery (CRS) in the last 25-30 years.
He said CRS is a laser procedure in which the cornea, the wind-screen and transparent part of the eye is reshaped (sculpted) so as to finally allow images of objects of regard to be focused clearly on the retina.
According to him, refractive errors are common clinical conditions where people are unable to see very well. This, he said, is because of the eye’s inability to focus images on the retina.
He stated that the acceptable standard remedy for refractive errors after diagnosis and clinical investigation (Refraction), is the use of prescribed corrective lenses (glasses) which are given for better sight.
Jiya also said, “This surgery is the first of its kind in Nigerian Public hospitals. We at the National Eye Centre, Kaduna collaborated with a foreign Corneal Refractive Surgeon from Algeria on the service.” He further stated that initially, several patients were screened but five of them were found fit and were prepared for the procedure.