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By Dayo Williams
No fewer than 10, 000 poor Nigerians have benefitted from the free cataract surgery embarked upon by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).
The festival of surgery, which lasted between January and December of 2018, was sponsored by the Buhari Presidency in conjunction with other funding partners.
The free surgery carried out by the ‘ PMB Restores Vision Project’ of the FMoH under the supervision of the Health Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, was meant to restore sight to those affected by cataract but don’t have the financial capacity to foot the cost of the surgery independently.
Beneficiaries of the surgery, which was carried out on a first-come-first-served basis, across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT include those who had blind or severely impaired patient due to cataract with visual acuity, brisk pupillary reaction to light, no ocular infection, controlled hypertension, no diabetes, among other conditions.
Meanwhile, as a result of successes recorded in the first batch of the project, the free surgery is still ongoing in some states of the federation with Governor Nasir El-rufai launching that of Kaduna State in Markarfi Local Government Area of the state recently.
Also, some of the states have completed the required number of surgeries across each of the three senatorial districts.
The project, according to the national coordinator, Dr Ibrahim Kana, is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health, the Opthalmological Society of Nigeria, State Eye Health Committees as representatives of the state Ministry of Health and other care partners in the country.
According to reports, cataract accounts for at least 43% of all blindness with about 2million adults aged 40 years and above requiring cataract surgery and over a quarter(650, 000) cannot see at all as a result of the ailment.