8 Children Benefit Lagos Free Eye Surgical Expedition

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By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos

At least, eight hitherto blind children at the weekend smiled home in Lagos, regaining their sight as they benefitted from the free eye surgeries programme offered by the state government.

The  expedition was part of a compassionate initiative aimed at addressing blinding eye conditions in the community.

In a statement on Sunday, the Director, Public Affairs  Ministry of Health, Tunbosun Ogunsanwo said that the successful surgical expedition took place at General Hospital, Odan, Lagos on January 26, 2024.

He attributed it to a collaborative effort between the Lagos State Government, the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese Community and Enterprises in Nigeria. 

Ogunsanwo hinted that the program aimed to bringing light into the lives of residents, particularly children, by restoring their sight.

Speaking during his visit to the beneficiaries, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye expressed the outreach’s focus on ensuring a brighter future for children with cataracts. He highlighted the government’s ongoing eye care outreach to communities, emphasizing the commitment to improving access to quality eye care services and preventing avoidable blindness.

“The collaboration with the Chinese Consulate and Government targets a brighter future for children suffering from cataracts, enabling them to learn in school properly and reach their full potential,” Dr. Ogboye affirmed.

He Ogboye explained further that medical expeditions are part of the Ministry’s strategies through outreaches under the state Blindness Prevention Programme to support the routine health care system targeting specific populations who cannot afford treatment for eye health care services, adding that the Blindness Prevention Program deals with a whole range of eye conditions. 

Reiterating the government’s commitment to preventing avoidable blindness, Dr. Ogboye emphasized the prioritization of sustainable healthcare delivery for various health-related conditions and welcomed collaborations with the private sector and relevant stakeholders. He commended the Chinese Consulate and the Chinese Community and Enterprises for their productive collaboration.

Representative of the Consul General, People’s Republic of China, Mr Lei Yu who applauded the State Government for its support in the success of the free eye surgical outreach program, stated that the members of the Chinese community in Nigeria sees Nigeria as their home and will do anything within their capacity to assist the needy in accessing basic amenities.

“For us in the Chinese community, some of us have been here for long . Nigerian is our home. We are willing to do anything within our capacity to help the needy since we are here together as family.This is just the beginning and we will continue to do more and more and aside from the eye surgery we are also doing a lot in education”. He said.

Speaking in the same vein, Coordinator, Lagos State Blindness Prevention Program, Dr. Ifeyemi Adeniran who also commended the Chinese Consulate and the Chinese community for the collaboration explained that the Blindness Prevention Program Unit of the Ministry of Health is saddled with the responsibility of reducing blindness among the citizens of Lagos State.

Dr. Adeniran explained further that the government recognises the importance of good eyesight in the productivity and functionality of individuals in society. She, however, assured that the State Government will not relent in putting in place strategies geared towards making quality eye care services accessible to all.

Father of two of the beneficiaries, Mr. Tomiluyi Temitope expressed gratitude for the laudable initiative. His twin boys, who benefited from the free eye surgery, underwent tests at Ijede and Epe General Hospitals, revealing significant cataracts. He appreciated the timely and cost-free operation facilitated by the Lagos State Government and the Chinese Consulate.

He said: “we visited hospitals in Ijede and Epe, so several tests were conducted on them, it was then discovered that the cataract was almost covering their eyes. The cost of operating one eye is very high, not to talk of operating the four eyes. We came here on Monday and we were told the operation will be carried out on Friday and all costs have been paid”

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