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Glaucoma care in Nigeria: Is the current practice poised to tackle this emerging sight-threatening disease?

  • S. N. OnwubikoEmail author
  • N. N. Udeh
  • O. Nkwegu
  • D. O. Ukwu
  • N. Z. Nwachukwu
Original Paper
  • 17 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the current practice on glaucoma care with the aim of highlighting its poise to tackle this emerging sight-threatening disease in Nigeria.

Methods

This was a cross-sectional, descriptive, population-based survey involving 88 ophthalmologists. Information on their demographic characteristics, practice profile, challenges and prospects on glaucoma care was collected using a semi-structured, self-administered questionnaire in August 2016. Data were analysed using SPSS 20.

Results

The participants are comprised of 46 (52.3%) males and 42 (47.7%) females, with a mean age of 42.2 ± 8.7 SD years. They were 45 (51.1%) consultants, 31 (35.2%) residents and 12 (13.6%) diplomates. Their years of practice were 8.8 ± 6.7 SD years. They worked mainly in government hospitals located at the southern part of Nigeria. The current practice was mainly comprehensive ophthalmology, 63 (71.6%). Only 2 (2.3%) had strict subspecialty practice. Others, 23 (26.1%), had combined practice. Eleven (12.5%) were glaucoma specialists and had combined practice. The majority of the participants, 57 (64.8%), were routinely diagnosed glaucoma properly. Sixty-three (71.6%) participants underwent trabeculectomy, 48 (54.5%) combined cataract surgery with trabeculectomy, 7 (8.0%) drainage implants, 5 (5.7%) laser trabeculoplasty, and 2 (2.3%) minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. Poor patients’ acceptance and satisfaction, fear of complications, lengthy post-operative care and cost were the main deterrents to surgeries. Advocacy, public awareness, training of glaucoma specialists, provision of equipment and health insurance were the major recommendations on improving glaucoma care.

Conclusion

Given the meagre number of specialists and lack of strict subspecialty practice, optimal glaucoma care in Nigeria is still far from reality.

Keywords

Glaucoma Current practice pattern Nigeria 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no real or potential competing interests in this work.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Nigeria Teaching HospitalEnuguNigeria

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