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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid