International Ophthalmology

, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 2385–2390 | Cite as

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



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


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.


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.


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


Glaucoma Current practice pattern Nigeria 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

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


  1. 1.
    Tham Yih-Chung, Li Xiang, Wong TienY, Quigley HarryA, Aung Tin, Cheng Ching-Yu (2014) Global prevalence of glaucoma and projections of glaucoma burden through 2040, a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ophthalmology 121(11):2081–2090CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kyari F, Gudlavalleti MV, Sivsubramaniam S, Gilbert CE, Abdull MM, Enetekume G, Foster A (2009) Prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in Nigeria: the National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 50(5):2033–2039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kyari F, Wormald R, Murthy GV, Evans JR, Gilbert CE (2016) Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study Group. Ethnicity and deprivation are associated with blindness among adults with primary glaucoma in Nigeria: results from the Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey. J Glaucoma 25(10):e861–e872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abdull MM, Gilbert CC, Evans J (2015) Primary open angle glaucoma in northern Nigeria: stage at presentation and acceptance of treatment. BMC Ophthalmol 15:111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Omoti AE, Osahon AI, Waziri-Erameh MJ (2006) Pattern of presentation of primary open angle glaucoma in Benin City Nigeria. Trop Doct 36(2):97–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Omolase CO, Ogunleye OT, Sotiloye OA, Omolase BO (2013) Compliance with topical glaucoma medications in Owo Nigeria. Brunei Int Med J 9(3):172–177Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Onakoya AO, Mbadugha CA (2016) Self-reported adherence rates in glaucoma patients in Southwest Nigeria. J Clin Sci 13:51–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Heijl A, Leske MC, Bengtsson B et al (2002) Reduction of intraocular pressure and glaucoma progression: results from the early manifest Glaucoma Trial. Arch Ophthalmol 120:1268–1279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kass MA, Heuer DK, Higginbotham EJ et al (2002) The Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study: a randomized trial determines that topical ocular hypotensive medication delays or prevents the onset of primary open-angle glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol 120:701–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kyari F, Nolan W, Gilbert CE (2016) Ophthalmologists practice patterns and challenges in achieving optimal management for glaucoma in Nigeria: results from a nationwide survey. BMJ Open 6(10):e012230CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Nigeria Teaching HospitalEnuguNigeria

Personalised recommendations