Meet Dr. Mustpha Bature

In a recent Zoom meeting, Megan Webber, co-founder of KnowTheGlow, had the opportunity to engage in a stimulating conversation with Dr. Mustapha Bature, the Chairman of the Young Ophthalmologist Forum (YOF) of Nigeria. Facilitated by Dr. Ifeoma Umeche, this enlightening discussion shed light on Dr. Bature’s impactful initiatives and his dedication to advancing eye health in Nigeria.

Dr. Bature, who has been chairman for almost a year, shared insights into his journey, highlighting his five-year tenure with the Young Ophthalmologist Forum (YOF) before assuming his current role. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Bature has spearheaded various initiatives aimed at raising awareness about retinoblastoma (RB) and other eye conditions, including collaborating on podcasts focusing on pediatric eye cancer with Dr. Dupe Popoola.

KnowTheGlow’s mission resonated strongly with Dr. Bature, who recognized it as a valuable platform for reaching and educating the public. With nearly 500 active members, YOF plays a crucial role in training new ophthalmologists and leveraging social media to disseminate information. The forum has worked with support groups at the National Eye Centre Kaduna for RB, providing much-needed assistance to parents navigating the challenges of enucleation and chemotherapy.

During the discussion, Dr. Bature emphasized the importance of early detection and intervention, citing cases of late presentations of RB due to socioeconomic factors. He expressed his commitment to championing this cause at an upcoming conference in Nigeria, leveraging YOF’s reach for national impact.

Dr. Bature’s passion for promoting eye health extended beyond RB awareness. He highlighted the transformative impact of interventions such as cataract surgery, recounting cases where children previously enrolled in schools for the blind regained sight post-surgery. His experiences underscored the significance of raising awareness and dispelling misconceptions surrounding eye conditions.

Furthermore, Dr. Bature discussed YOF’s involvement in school eye health programs and their efforts to support the government’s screening initiatives. By collaborating with local communities and leveraging media platforms, YOF aims to address the disparities in access to eye care across different regions.

Beyond his role with YOF, Dr. Bature has been recognized as an Eye Health Hero by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). His contributions, including co-founding EyeFocus, exemplify his commitment to advancing eye care through innovation and collaboration. Through webinars, podcasts, and public awareness campaigns, Dr. Bature continues to drive positive change in ophthalmology.

Dr.  Bature currently practices general ophthalmology and frequently encounters children with leukocoria. This is despite the fact that he is aspiring to be a vitreo-retina specialist in the near future. Dr. Bature’s path to medicine was influenced by a desire to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives. During his undergraduate years, he was exposed to ophthalmology, recognizing it as an area where he could significantly improve vision outcomes with fewer mortality rates. Moreover, the scarcity of trained ophthalmologists in his home region propelled him to pursue ophthalmology as a means to address this gap and contribute to the development of eye care services within his community. He became the first trained ophthalmology specialist from Sokoto state. His commitment to serving his community underscores his unwavering dedication to improving eye health outcomes for all.

KnowTheGlow is eager to collaborate with the YOF and commends Dr. Mustapha Bature’s dedication to improving eye health in Nigeria. From his leadership within YOF to his groundbreaking initiatives with EyeFocus, he embodies the spirit of service and innovation. As he continues to advocate for universal access to quality eye care, his efforts serve as a beacon of hope for countless individuals across Nigeria and beyond.