Opthamologists Ask For Recall Of Avastine Injection After Ten People Regain Sight

Channels Television  
Updated September 15, 2019

Ophthalmologists Seek More Funding To Tackle Blindness


The Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria (OSN) has appealed to the National Assembly to review the suspension of Avastine Injection after 10 persons who initially went temporarily blind after its use, later regained their sight.

According to the OSN, the drug which is usually injected into the eyes, has been used to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD), other eye defects, as well as restore sight.

In July, the Nigerian Senate had asked the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to suspend the use of the injection in Nigeria.

The lawmakers took the decision after deliberating on a motion involving cases of 10 patients who went blind after the injection was administered in Kaduna and the motion was sponsored by Aishatu Dahiru as well as seven other senators.

But the National President of the OSN, Dr Ayobade Ogundipe, maintained that the 10 people involved in the incident have all regained their sight.

“It is a drug that is relatively safe . . . restores vision in a lot of people,” Ogundipe said at the 44th Scientific Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Society in Calabar, the Cross River State, Capital.

“And I am sure some of the people listening to me here have had it injected into their eye. So we will appeal to the National Assembly, the Senate especially, to please quickly review the suspension of the use of this drug. It is something that has caused havoc within the last few weeks that it was suspended.

“We appreciate their (Senate) efforts in trying to guard the health of our people by rising squarely to look into the incidence that happened in Kaduna where 10 people who had the injection were temporarily blinded… but we are happy today that all of them without exception have regained their sight. This drug is on the WHO essential drug list. So we didn’t just wake up to start using the drug in Nigeria,” he said.

Ogundipe also noted that, with support from the federal government, the OSN has completed 80 per cent of the National Cataract Project which was inaugurated in February 2018.

The Project’s goal, according to him, is to restore vision to 10,000 Nigerians who were blind because of cataract and about 8,000 Nigerians have already benefitted from it.