Skipper IQ to Curb Medical Tourism with Launch of New Eye Hospital

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By Rebecca Ejifoma

Skipper IQ Super Specialty Hospital, a renowned eye centre in Nigeria, is bent on adopting holistic approaches to curb the spate of medical tourism in the country, especially for eye surgeries.

This was its submission at the unveiling of the Skipper IQ Super Specialty Hospital second branch on the mainland in Lagos State.

In her address, the Medical Director of Skipper IQ Super Specialty Hospital, Dr. Temitope Tijani, noted that while their mission is to be the foremost chain of eye hospitals, they are out to reverse medical tourism.

She added: “In the three years we have been here, I can tell you there has been tremendous change in medical tourism. Right now, we have in our portfolios of surgeries for some of our leaders.”

“These are people who ordinarily would not have an eye check in Nigeria. For them to come to us and get their eye surgery done, I think it tells a lot of trust in the services we have been delivering.”

For the ophthalmologist, the hospital has done a lot to reduce the advent of medical tourism in Nigeria, which is part of the reason this hospital was set up.

While unveiling the first mainland branch of the hospital in Ilupeju area of the state, the medical director highlighted that their services are from the basics to the very specialised.

They are: glasses, refractive errors, eye surgeries, allergic conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and cataract among others.

On the need to prevent visual impairment, Tijani saw the need for basic diet, and change in lifestyle.

“Let your lifestyle be healthy. Eating of balanced diet, and fruits cannot be over emphasised.

“Fruits that have red colour are good for your eyes, because they tend to contain bitter carotene: carrots, watermelon, and green leafy vegetables.”

She, however, decried the health seeking-attitude of Nigerians as very poor, adding that people are scared to find out what is detected.

In his views, the Clinical In-charge, Dr. Ranojit Basu, emphasised that their mission is to give holistic approach to ophthalmology.

“We take holistic approach in diabetes. Our aim is to achieve preventable blindness in many diseases”, he added.

The expert cited that Nigeria has around 1.13m blind people, and 3 million visually impaired people. “The leading cause is cataract. There are other killer eye disease like glaucoma.

As an eye expert, who specialises on blindness in children, Basu said, “We are trying to do paediatric cataracts here in Nigeria. Children also have cataracts; it is complex to deal with. I’m associated with abysmas (correction of crossed eyes).”

Adding her voice, the Retina Consultant, Dr. Zeenat Shah, harped on the need for more awareness, and screening.

“We create awareness to help people prevent blindness. I have come across over 20 people who have diabetes that leads to blindness. It is preventable if detected early,” she said.