Mustapha Bature is an ophthalmologist who trained at National Eye Centre, Kaduna and is a lecturer at Usman Danfodiyo University with clinical work at the university teaching hospital. In 2018, he co-founded EyeFocus, a platform for “advancing eye health through shared learning,” leveraging on technological solutions. The aim is improving quality eye care provision to all which is accessible at all levels of care including community/patient co-production of eye health. EyeFocus has a package of activities for knowledge exchange and public health awareness including webinars, podcasts and discussion forums. It is also working on developing locally contextual courses for eye health professionals and allied workers.
Soon after the pandemic restrictions befell eye healthcare and training, and very early on, EyeFocus provided support to training institutions for continuous teaching and learning. For example, the University of Abuja teaching hospital and the National Eye Centre ophthalmology residents’ training forums, the colleges in postgraduate ophthalmology training and exams revision and the scientific seminars of the ophthalmological society of Nigeria (OSN). Mustapha also co-developed the transferable skills programme for medical research and data management, which was recognised by the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) delivered online and free to attendees.
Using mass and social media, he engages the public and scientific committee, sharing information through conference papers, TV programmes, Radio sessions and poster designs for eye care especially on named/marked health days such as World Sight Day, World Glaucoma Week, World Diabetes Day, World Sickle Cell Disease Day, childhood cancer awareness month, mental health awareness week, etc. His research works include the application of Peek vision tests in school children in Nigeria, and patients’ satisfaction with glaucoma care services, giving him further insight on patients care needs and expectations which he includes in the communications.
In recent past, several algorithms have been developed for detection of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, cataract, keratoconus etc. In low-and-middle-income countries like Nigeria, with 80% avoidable blindness, inadequate skilled human resources, difficulty for diagnosis/detection among allied health workers in far-out rural communities and dearth of necessary data pose a great challenge. He is a member of the Big Data Health cluster, believing that in Nigeria, Artificial Intelligence is a feasible option for eye care especially for conditions that can be detected early by deep learning technology. He intends to develop this further.
Mustapha is the secretary for Young Ophthalmologists (YO) Forum of the OSN and has a leadership drive for the advancement of YOs in Nigeria and for an Africa YO network. He is the secretary for the International Society of Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery Nigeria Chapter: a leadership drive for training for quality cataract surgery.
Mustapha obtained an MBA in 2019, Master of Surgery in clinical ophthalmology (ChM) with distinction, University of Edinburgh, MRCS(Ed), and Fellowship of the WACS in 2021. He is a member of the Class-III delegate of Leadership Development Programme of African Ophthalmology Council. He is the winner of the WACS Abiose’s Prize for Excellence in Clinical Ophthalmology 2019.
“As a young ophthalmologist I believe I have a crucial role in bridging the gap towards provision of accessible eye care services at all levels, narrowing the gap between the haves and the have-nots especially when it comes to capacity of care provision by eye healthcare workers in their primary locations. Without preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative eye care services, achieving universal eye care will be difficult. My interest and the work I do leverages on technological solutions to bring eye health care learning and education, and services closer to those who need it.”
– Mustapha Bature