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Yobe women using neonatal drug as eye drop — NMA

The Nigerian Medical Association National Committee on Eye Care said on Saturday that some women in Yobe State were administering a drug meant for neonatal umbilical cord as eye drop to their children.

It noted that the drug, a chlorhexidine drop (7.1%) was wrongfully being distributed in some primary health centres in the state.

The Chairman, NMA National Committee on Eye Care, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said, ‘‘The packaging was made in form of small bottles that resemble eyedrop form and our naive and less educated mothers in Yobe are unknowingly administering the drugs to the eyes of their children.’’

He noted that exposure of the eye to chlorhexidine cleanser usually results in eye pain, swelling of the cornea and inflammation of the conjunctiva among others eye problems.

‘‘Three cases have been reported, two from Ngelzarma and one from Machina, all in Yobe State. Chlorhexidine four per cent solution should not have contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. If contact occurs, the affected area should be washed with cold water and a doctor should be contacted,’’ he added.

The NMA also urged the Yobe State Government and the state chapter of the NMA to intensify efforts in retrieving the distributed cleansing solution.

Adenekan added, ‘‘We urge the NMA Yobe chapter to strategically partner with all relevant agencies and organisations to properly educate the women there.’’

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