11 October 2018

Uganda: Minister Warns On Using Herbs to Treat Eye Diseases

Kampala — State minister for Primary Healthcare Joyce Moriku Kaducu has cautioned Ugandans against using local herbs to treat eye diseases, saying this may worsen the condition.

Addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday, Dr Kaducu appealed to those with eye problems to consult qualified health workers for proper treatment.

"Eyes are sensitive parts on the human body, which need a lot of precaution. Local herbs do not have prescriptions; they might harm your sight," Dr Kaducu said.

She said eyesight is endangered by poor hygiene, watching television with lights off, reading under dim light, smoking and using urine, among others.

"The composition of urine is not fit to be put in the eye because it is acidic and not compatible. Urine has been proven that it cannot treat the eyes," Dr Kaducu said.

According to the Ministry of Health, eye diseases are one of the top 10 causes of morbidity and outpatient attendance. Dr Kaducu appealed to Ugandans to take regular breaks during reading or watching television and have regular eye checkups. She also urged expectant mothers to go for antenatal visits at least four times.

Dr Stanely Bubikire, the programe manager for the disability prevention and rehabilitation programme in the Ministry of Health, revealed that women are at a higher risk of visual impairment and blindness due to the nature of work they do such as cooking.

"Some of the priority eye conditions include trachoma, eye injuries, low vision, cataract (adult and pediatric), conjunctivitis of the newborn, cancer of the retina (retinoblastoma), increased eye pressure, corneal ulcers," Dr Bubikire said.

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