Expert Ophthalmic Care in a Pace-Setting Nigerian Institution
The Eye Foundation Hospital is a leading ophthalmic institution, providing state of the art care and services for Nigerians. Recently, we spoke with Ogugua Okonkwo, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon & Vitreoretina Specialist at the hospital, to find out more about their extraordinary work.
Africa is a continent on the rise. Over the last ten years, it’s economic growth has been impressive, outpacing many of the world’s largest economies. Nigeria, specifically, has transformed itself to become a new emerging market on the global business landscape, a hub of swift business development and innovation. On the back of this, Nigeria has become an ever-more attractive prospect for the modern entrepreneur, expert, professional, practitioner and academic.
When it comes to nurturing homegrown talent – and establishing new standards of best practice – few establishments have had as much success, and garnered more of an impressive reputation, as the Eye Foundation Hospital in Lagos. Over the past twenty-five years, the hospital has been at the very centre of the efforts to fight against preventable blindness in West Africa. More than that, as Ogugua is keen to emphasise, it is also the first indigenous practice providing subspecialty services at an advanced level. “The institution is a leader in ophthalmic training and trains all cadres of ophthalmic care providers, including ophthalmic residents and fellows.” By all regards, Eye Foundation Hospital’s pedigree cannot be questioned, remaining a leading global stalwart in Ophthalmology.
Ogugua continues, moving on to discuss the hospitals’ specialism in more detail: “The Eye Foundation Hospital is comprised of a group of hospitals in various locations within Nigeria. The highly trained staff, using state of the art technology, aim to provide the highest standards of ophthalmic care including diagnostic, surgical and optical services. Through a very organised approach, quality eye care is also delivered to the rural community. Therefore, the organisation caters to a wide variety of individuals and ensures that quality and equitable care is always available to all – from high net worth individuals to, as aforementioned, the rural community.”
“The other specialty of the institution is in training of ophthalmic care givers. Mid-level manpower and specialised care givers are trained by the outstanding local and international faculty.” This high standard of care plays a large part in securing the hospital’s long-term success. Simply put, Eye Foundation Hospital’s expertise cannot be outpaced by competitors. Ogugua agrees: “The success of the firm anchors on a strong brand, team approach and quality eye care. The institution also has a visionary management led by seasoned health care administrators and strives to continue to evolve with a philosophy based on providing care for all.”
“The clinical and non-clinical staff are co-ordinated by the management to provide quality eye care to all locations of the hospital. The clinical staff, led by the doctors, are well-trained and provide very specialised care using the state of the art facilities provided. The staff are trained to be courteous and to deliver care in a professional and compassionate manner.”
Like most industries, technological development has vastly changed the medical industry. More than anything, its progressive, relentless pace has made it difficult to stay at the cutting edge of the sector. This has only been amplified in Nigeria’s economic climate: change is happening, but not fast enough. “The rapid evolution and change in technology witnessed in the ophthalmic industry in recent years, at both a hardware and software level, has created a challenge – at times – to keep up with for a high tech ophthalmic facility in a developing part of the world, where support for these technologies is often rare and difficult to find.”
Recently, Ogugua found success in Acquisition Intl.’s Global Excellence Awards 2018 in which he was titled the Most Outstanding Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon 2018 – Nigeria. Moving forward from this win, Ogugua’s main goal is to advance the training and learning of vitreoretinal surgery within the African region. In addition to this, he also strives to mobilise resources targeted at the prevention of advanced and vision damaging stage of ‘diabetic retinopathy’. A complication of diabetes which becomes a blinding disease in its advanced stages.
As we come to the end of the interview, Ogugua moves to summarise Eye Foundation Hospital’s goal and vision as it moves into the future: “The goal of the institution is to be a leader in its industry, which is in the provision of ophthalmic service and training. Being a private institution and a pace-setter in this visionary endeavour comes with a number of challenges. Over the last twenty years, by keeping to the goal and philosophy outlined by the hospital’s founder, has inspired the next generation of leaders in the institution with the drive to keep the dream and aspiration moving ever forward. Having a clear succession plan remains an important strength in the Eye Foundation Hospital.”
Finally, in his closing comments, Ogugua discusses the hospital’s more immediate plans for 2019 and beyond. “The institution plans to broaden its reach of clinical and surgical services by expanding its network, play a bigger role in evidence-based research, providing community-based information relating to eye care useful for planning eye care programmes, as well as treatment of region-specific eye diseases. Also, by broadening its faculty, providing strong links with local and overseas colleges, it hopes to improve the quality of training at all echelons of eye care professionals, including ophthalmic residents and fellows.”
Company: Eye Foundation Hospital Group
Address: 27 Isaac John Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Contact Email: [email protected] eyefoundationhospital.com
Telephone: +234 818 200 9943