Preventable Blindness: Rotary Club calls for Philanthropic Support

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By Admin

The Rotary Club of Ibadan, Jericho Metro District 9125 on Tuesday, called for philanthropic funding and partnership to reverse the trend of preventable blindness in the country.

The humanitarian organisation made this call during a community eye outreach conducted in Kuola, Apata area of Ibadan on Tuesday.

The eye outreach which involved free eye screening, free cataract surgery and free drugs was conducted by the Rotary Club in collaboration with the Opthamology Department of the University College Hospital, Ibadan and Kakanfo Inn and Conference Centre, Ibadan.

The President of Rotary Club, Jericho Metro, Mrs Bisi Yomi-Layinka, said that through their collaborative support, Rotarians would easily reach out to hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have limited access to quality and timely healthcare.

“On behalf of the Board and members of Rotary Club if Ibadan-Jericho Metro, I welcome you to this edition of Eye Outreach.

“Our Club is made up of professionals of diverse professions.We work in communities bringing succor to them.

“We have been having this program for five years in partnership with UCH and Kakanfo Inn in schools and communities.

“Since inception about 5000 people have benefitted with 20 participants benefitting from our free cataract operations.

“Today,  we are looking to screen a minimum of 50 persons while two participants will benefit from the free Cataract operation; two identified beneficiaries will be expected to follow the team to UCH today to enable the operation to be done tomorrow.

She reiterated that members of the club would continue to undertake meaningful initiatives that will impact the lives of many people, especially in the rural areas.

“We seize this opportunity to call on other individuals and corporate organisations to join hands with us by sponsoring this project so that it can reach more communities and a wider audience,” she said.

The Chief Nursing Officer at the Community Eye Outreach Department, UCH, Mrs Grace Illuyomade, said that cataract and glaucoma are two leading causes of a preventable blindness in the country.

She  said that the public health burden of preventable blindness remained cumbersome due to lack of easy access to healthcare, untimely medical intervention poverty and low level of public awareness.

“Preventable blindness is blindness which could be either treated or prevented by known means.

“Although there are many other causes of vision loss, glaucoma and cataract are the two leading causes in the country.

“We are appealing to philanthropists and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of these indigent patients, many of whom cannot surgical fees, and this has resulted in blindness in many cases,” she said.

Illuyomade said that the collaborative support will also boost effort of community eye outreach to provide quality medical care and intervention in hard to reach rural areas.

According to her,  by helping to improve the lives of people in rural areas it will contribute to efforts aimed at solving the problem of preventable blindness in the rural communities.

An Octogenarian, Ahamadu Bello, who was diagnosed with cataract during the free screening said that the outreach was a worthy cause for those who couldn’t afford medical checks.

Bello said he had been experiencing the symptoms for over two years, but ignorance and cost of medical care made him helpless from seeking intervention.

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