By Mustapha Adamu, Kano
The Albasar International Foundation (Makkah Specialist Eye Hospital), Kano, in collaboration with the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, Saudi Arabia, has sponsored free eye surgery on 4,000 indigent patients in Kano and Bauchi states.
The Foundation which manages the Makkah Specialist Hospital, is a non- Governmental charitable organization working for the prevention of blindness with particular emphasis on Africa and Asia.
The Regional Director of the Hospital (Nigeria/Niger), Dr Moheildin Abdalla Elbadawi, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Kano on Thursday.
He said out of the 4,000 patients, 2,800 are from Kano state while the remaining are in Bauchi state.
He said the programme which commenced simultaneously at Makkah Specialist Hospital in Kano and Bauchi on Tuesday, had so far conducted the surgery on more than 150 patients.
He explained that the programme was aimed at supporting and partnering with governments and other bodies in blindness control, by supporting poor needy patients in particular and the general public.
He said all patients operated under the programme are entitled to free discharge medicines and post surgery follow ups.
He said as part of effort to comply with the COVID-19 protocols, the patients are usually screened from various primary health care centres in the various LGAs of the states before they are referred in batches to the hospitals for the surgeries.
According to him, the ministries of health in the two states had also provided the necessary support and logistics required for the successfull implementation of the programme.
“Under the Regional office in Nigeria and Niger Republic the Foundation manages Makkah Specialist Hospital in Kano and Bauchi states in Nigeria as well as Maradi in Niger Republic.
“Through the eye camps, which are usually co-sponsored by a donor or sponsor and the Foundation, medical eye services are taken to the door steps of the patients who may not afford coming to the specialised eye hospitals.
“During such eye camps, which may be minor or major, madical services including screening, issuance of drugs and optical glasses, as well as surgeries are rendered by our mobile medical team,” Elbadawi said.
He added that from 1994 to 2014, a total of 81 free eye camps were conducted during which 394, 243 patients were screened, 33,781 surgeries carried out and 80,555 patients were issued with optical glasses.