Sightsavers Facilitate 1,299 Cataract Surgeries for Indigent Citizens, Train 453 Health workers in Kogi

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The Sightsavers Nigeria said it had successfully facilitated more than 1,299 free cataract surgeries and trained over 453 health workers under its “Kogi Eye Care Project” within five years.

Photo: Daikwo Ali, cataract surgery beneficiary.
Photo credit :Sightsavers


Dr. Joy Shu’aibu, Country Director of Sightsavers Nigeria, disclosed this in a statement ob Friday in Lokoja, as part of activities to celebrate “Cataract Awareness Month” 2024.

According to her, Sightsavers Nigeria is celebrating a significant milestone in eye health care in this Cataract Awareness Month.

“The culmination of the five-year Kogi Eye Care Project has significantly improved access to eye health services and cataract surgeries for residents of Kogi State.

“The collaboration between Sightsavers Nigeria and the Kogi State Ministry of Health ran from June 2019 to June 2024.

“This partnership has resulted in the refurbishment of three state government hospitals, trained 453 health workers and, crucially, more than 1,299 cataract surgeries,” she said.

The county director said that cataract remained the leading cause of blindness globally, disproportionately affecting individuals in low-income regions.

She maintained that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Nigeria, affecting an estimated one million people.

Shu’aibu noted that Sightsavers Nigeria had been at the forefront of addressing this critical health issue, particularly through the Kogi Eye Care Project, which has brought substantial benefits to the local communities.

She added: “The Kogi Eye Care Project is a testament to what can be achieved through dedication and collaboration.

“We are proud of the impact we’ve made in reducing cataract-related blindness and improving the quality of life for many individuals in Kogi State.

“As we conclude this project, our commitment to combating eye health issues remains unwavering.

“The eye health project was funded by Sightsavers and Peoples Postcode Lottery from June 2019 to June 2024 and its success will form the foundations of a lasting eye health care in the region.

“Experts in eye health have now been trained and eye care services integrated into regional health systems so the improvements ensure the eye health services in Kogi will continue to be delivered in a sustainable way.

“As Cataract Awareness Month comes to a close, Sightsavers Nigeria remains committed to continuing its efforts to address the burden of cataract-related blindness in Nigeria”.

Shu’aibu assured that the organization would continue to work closely with the government and other stakeholders to expand access to eye care services and ensure that no one was left behind.

Dr Selben Penzin, the Senior Program Manager, Sightsavers’ Eye Health, said the organisation had made a tangible impact on the lives of the people of Kogi through its Eye Care project in the state.

“By increasing access to eye health services and providing free cataract surgeries, we have been able to restore sight and improve the quality of life for thousands of individuals in the state,” Penzin said.

A beneficiary of cataract surgery, Mr. Daikwo Ali, said: “I had lost all hope of seeing again and returning to the lecture hall to teach students, until Sightsavers came to our community.

“The surgery restored sight to both my eye in two years, and with it, my ability to work and support my family. I am forever grateful”.

The Sightsavers is an international organisation that works in more than 30 low- and middle-income countries to end avoidable blindness.

Sightsavers treat and eliminate neglected tropical diseases, and promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities.


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