News / Africa

Nigeria Bank, Church Support Eye Surgery Camps in Kano

Men and women from Jigawa State wait for interviews to determine if they qualify for surgery to prevent blindness.
Men and women from Jigawa State wait for interviews to determine if they qualify for surgery to prevent blindness.
Isiyaku Ahmed
— Gunduma Hospital System Council General Hospital is one of five free camps where people are receiving cataract surgery in Dutse, Jigawa State. 

The Jigawa State Ministry of Health is working with the Evangelical Church of Winning All (ECWA) and Standard Chartered Bank to reduce a backlog of cataract cases for some 1,851 people in free eye camps in Dutse, Gumel, Hadejia, Kazaure and Ringim local government areas.

A recent Nigerian national eye survey reports that cataracts are the most common cause of blindness in Dutse. They're blamed for more than 43 percent of all cases in the northern town. Other causes are glaucoma, old age, measles, use of traditional eye medicines, and vitamin A deficiency. 

An optician interviews cataract patients at Gunduma Hospital System Council General Hospital, Dutse, before patients undergo surgery to prevent blindness.An optician interviews cataract patients at Gunduma Hospital System Council General Hospital, Dutse, before patients undergo surgery to prevent blindness.
x
An optician interviews cataract patients at Gunduma Hospital System Council General Hospital, Dutse, before patients undergo surgery to prevent blindness.
An optician interviews cataract patients at Gunduma Hospital System Council General Hospital, Dutse, before patients undergo surgery to prevent blindness.
Thirty-year-old Saminu Ibrahim is a petty trader in Jahun, Jigawa State. He has cataracts in both eyes. Saminu said, ”I have been suffering from this ailment in the last two years. I tried using different kinds of traditional to western medicine but did not get relief. When I heard of the free eye camp I decided to give it a trial and am glad it paid off.”

Saminu said he heard of the effort from a local public awareness campaign urging people with cataracts or other eye impairments to visit the eye camp for free surgery.

“The camp is in collaboration between Standard Chartered Bank and Jigawa State Government to operate adult cataract,” said Dr. Sunday Abuh, managing director at ECWA’s Eye Hospital in Kano. “Our target which we have already met is 1,851 in the five centres with different surgeons operating at the different centres.”

Preventing blindess

Dr. Abuh said beneficiaries of the free service must have cataracts in one or both eyes. Untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. To achieve full recovery, the camp gave out free medications - Oflozacin, Be optic –N - and a pair of sunglasses.
Dr. Abuh says about 66 percent of blindness in Nigeria is preventable. But increased public awareness campaigns to communities may not only reduce poor vision, but improve literacy.

“The problem we have with visual impairments caused by cataracts is that we are not able to deal with it as it is occurring, and so we have a lot of backlog,” said Dr. Abuh. “The only way to deal with this backlog is through such initiatives by Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with Jigawa state governments; if not, the cataracts will continue as long as people grow older.

He said ECWA has been doing a lot of work to help restore sight for people in northern Nigeria as part of its goal of practicing corporate social responsibility.  The support of Standard Chartered Bank has strengthened his organization’s outreach; it helped to increase the number of people who receive the service at different camps in Jigawa State.

Dr. Abuh says such free eye camps are the only way to reduce cataract backlog and avoid blindness from it in Nigeria. Standard Chartered Bank provides surgical materials like drugs, intra-ocular lenses and surgical equipment. The camps, patients, nurses and opticians are provided by Jigawa state government. The personnel are from ECWA
.
Officials say health financing in Nigeria is very low. Nigeria’s per-capita expenditure for health is 20,829 Nigeria naira which equals $131 U.S. The global average is $863 U.S. This equals 138,080 Nigerian Naira. The global average is seven times what Nigeria spends on health for its citizens.

Listen to Dr. Sunday Abuh on cataracts and blindness
Listen to Dr. Sunday Abuh on cataracts and blindnessi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid