By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria
The Charity to Cheers Foundation (an NGO) in collaboration with Premium Pension Limited has provided free cataract surgery for the aged and less privileged in Zaria.
Hajiya Maryam Mohammed, the President of the foundation said that the organisation with the support of Premium Pensions Limited supported the 75 beneficiaries to access the services free of charge.
She stated this during opening ceremony for the programme in Zaria at the weekend, adding that 40 out of the 75 beneficiaries benefitted on
Friday while 35 beneficiaries would be concluded after the opening ceremony.
According to her, the beneficiaries are mostly senior citizens who cannot afford the cost of cataract surgery.
She said that at the last exercise in December 2020, only 45 people benefitted from the programme and the foundation with the support from Premium Pensions Limited increased the beneficiaries to 75.
Mohammed said that the foundation would strengthen its collaboration with key stakeholders to scale up the programme.
In his remarks, Mr Ismail Abdussalam, Head Business Development of Premium Pensions, said the support was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and it is part of the nationwide interventions.
He said the intervention was one the company’s efforts to touch the lives of the people where it operates.
Mr Bitrus Dauda, Chief Optician, Gambo Sawaba General Hospital commended the foundation for choosing their facility for the programme.
He said the hospital conducts cataract surgeries twice weekly and on the average, over 120 cataract surgeries are conducted at the hospital on monthly basis.
He appealed for more equipment to improve service delivery in the facility, adding that with the improved equipment, the hospital has the strength to provide over 200 cataract surgeries every month.
Corroborating, Dr Faruk Garba, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria and head of surgical team, said that with improved equipment at the facility, the team could do more surgeries.
He said Kaduna State Government has subsidized cataract surgery at the hospital where patients pay N17,500 while in some private facilities, same costs between N100,000 up to N600,000.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Malam Hassan Ahmad expressed gratitude to Allah for the successful surgery, also thanking the supporting partners for the gesture.