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National Eye Centre Begins Corneal Refractive Surgery In Kaduna

Doctors from National Eye Centre, Kaduna have launched a Corneal Refractive Surgery services using the laser machine, the first of its kind in a Nigerian public hospital.

The Chief Medical Director, Dr Mahmoud Babanini Alhassan, speaking to newsmen on Thursday during the routine one-month medical follow-up, on the essence for the Corneal Refractive Surgery Services at the National Eye Centre Kaduna, 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”.

On the level of training and retraining of the surgeons and supportive staff, Dr Alhassan maintained that “I am very confident because my doctors are well trained, in fact three of my surgeons that were on the team for the Corneal Refractive Surgery of the first five patients were trained abroad in big hospitals and establishments in India. We will continue to train and retrain doctors and supporting staff to adapt to new technologies and skills for efficiency.”

A Consultant Opthalmologist in the National Eye Centre, Dr . Peter Jiya, explained that Corneal Refractive Surgery is not a new procedure; over 9.5 million in USA and more than 40 million worldwide have had Corneal Refractive Surgery in the last 25 – 30 years.

“CRS is a laser procedure by which the cornea ( the transparent part of the eye) is re-shaped (sculpted), so as to finally allow the images of objects of regard to be focused clearly on the retina, adding Refractive Errors are common clinical conditions where people are unable to see very well because of the eye’s inability to focus images on the retina.

“The acceptable standard remedy for Refractive error, after diagnosis and clinical investigation (Refraction) is the use of prescribed corrective lenses ( glasses) given for better sight,” Jiya explained.

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He said the surgery was the first of its kind in Nigerian Public hospitals, noting the National Eye Centre, Kaduna, collaborated with foreign corneal Refractive Surgeon from Algeria. Several patients were screened and five (were found fit and subsequently prepared for the procedure.

“The patients that had the laser surgery presented with different degrees of error ranging from minus two to minus nine Diopters. This morning, we had our one- month post-operative follow-up of all the patients and their visual acuity (measurement of seeing ability) is 6-6 to 6-5 which is very good. The laser machine we have can perform as much as 15 to 20 per day.” The consultant added.

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