Taking free eye surgeries to the grassroots

Some vulnerable persons in selected local government areas of Adamawa state recently benefited from a free eye medical outreach, the first of its kind in the state. MUAZU ABARI reports.

Generally, no government all over the world has the capacity to provide all the needs of its citizens especially in a developing country like Nigeria.

 It rather calls for collaborations and collective actíons to ameliorate the sufferings of the people in order to improve their living condition.

That is why it seems mild pressures are often mounted on privileged individuals, groups and organisations to  contribute their quota towards the development of the society through complimenting government efforts in providing basic social amenities to the citizens. This could be through various phylanthrophy and humanitarian gestures for the betterment of that society.

It is for reasons such as this that public-spirited individuals, groups and organisations have continued to establish various charity organisations and foundations with a specific mission to champion humanitarian needs in order to add value to the socio-economic lives of the common man.

For instance, in Adamawa state, it is not surprising that Alh Adamu Atiku Abubakar  floated Adamu Atiku Foundation which has been carrying out phylanthropic services across the state.

 In continuation of the foundation activities especially in education, health, water sanitation, youths and women development, community development services among others, the foundation took its free medical outreach and eyes surgeries to poor communities in four local governments of Ganye, Jada,Toungo and Mayo Belwa in Adamawa South Senatorial District.

The medical outreach

The free medical eye treatments/surgeries took place in Jada between 11 and 13th January 2024  and was attended by a mamoth crowd of people from various communities in the four local governments as well as other parts of the state.

The event which is a special intervention project, the first of its kind in the history of the foundation, was implemented in partnership with another group, Vision Servers Eyes Centre, known for tackling eyes challenges.

It was initially targeted at over 2,000 patients but the mamoth crowd that besieged the venue forced the foundation to expand the scope of the intervention to cover over 4,000 beneficiaries.

Reason for the exercise

Speaking at the event which was also attended by traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, political office holders and stakeholders across the zone, Alh Adamu  represented by Mustapha Atiku Abubakar said the programme is a blindness control project sponsored by the foundation to save lives.

According to him, the objective is to bring succour to the elderly, needy and vulnerable groups suffering from one form of eye ailment  or another but don’t have the means to seek for medical attention.

He further expressed concern over the present economic situation in the country which has made living nearly impossible for the common. He therefore called on privileged individuals and groups to be their brother’s keepers, imbibe the culture of sacrifice, empathy and compassion to humanity especially the poor who are going through  a lot of untold hardships.

He re-iterated his commitments and that of the foundation to live for humanity by putting smiles on the faces of the common man through its various activities. He commended Vision Eervers Eye Centre for their dedication and partnership towards achieving the foundation’s  objectives especially in the area of health care delivery.

He urged benefiacies to adhere to the medical advice  on how best to conduct themselves so as to avoid any complication.

He said some of the foundation’s areas of interest include promoting the interest of children and vulnerable people in the society, community development services, health care delivery system, education for all, water sanitation, women and youths empowerment, skills acquisition, among others. 

Since its establishment, he noted that the foundation has carried out many projects across the length and breadth of the state resulting in massive rehabilitations of schools infrastructures, payments of scholarships and examinations fees, ehabilitations of  clinics and health centres, youths empowerment programmes.

Others, he said, are distributions of wheel chairs and other supports to people leaving with disabilities, provisions of boreholes to communîties, distributions of relief materials and food items to victims of disasters, community development services, among others.

He disclosed that between 2021 and 2023, the foundation partnered the US government on the implementation of education programme leading to direct advocacy and capacity development in six local governments of Adamawa which includes Numan, Ganye, Fufore, Michika, Mubi  and Yola North.

Shedding more light

Speaking, leader of the medical team Dr Kamal Umar said the exercise was one of the most successful outreaches carried out across the country which witnessed massive turn out and conducted peacefully without any stress.

He attributed the successes  to the dedication and high sence of professionalism demonstrated by the medical experts assembled for the exercise and the supports given to his team by staff of foundation and the people of the area.

According to him, those who cannot see completely will be operated upon while those with complication that did not require surgery would be given drugs. Those who cannot see clearly and require reading glasses, he said, would be given with an assurance that there was enough to go round.

Thumps up

In appreciation, the executive chairman of Jada local government Hon Jibrin Aliyu Ganjari who spoke on behalf of his colleagues thanked the people of the zone for coming out enmasse. He applauded the foundation for identifying with their people and assured them of supports at all times while calling on other wealthy individuals to emulate the efforts of Turakin Ganye in service to the common man. 

Also speaking, the District Head of Jada commended the foundation  for this initiative and humanitarian intervations across the state which continued to bring hopes to the hopeless masses. He assured the foundation of supports and cooperation of traditional rulers to enable it achieve its vision.

On his part, a two-times member of the House of representatives representing Ganye/Jada/Toungo and Mayo Belwa Federal Constituency, Hon Ahmed wangubi who is a senior stakeholder in the zone described the founder of the foundation as a true son of his parents and a proud son of Adamawa.

He added that there are so many people in the state who have the means to do what the foundation is doing but  don’t have the initiative to add values to the lives of the common man who is going through a lot of hardships  despite their God given resources. He prayed that God would bless the founder so that he can do more for humanity through his foundation.

Beneficiaries show appreciations.

Most of the benefiacies thanked the foundation for coming to their aids and saving their lives after many years of hopelessness. They prayed to God to keep on blessing the organisers and the foundation for their show of love and concerne for vulnerable people who have nobody to depend upon than God.

Explaining his ordeal one of the benefiacies who gave his name as Abubakar Ardo  said, “I dont know how to express my joy and apprciation to the founder of this foundation for giving me another chance to see the world. I have lost my sight and have been leaving with blindness for five years now due to our poor economic sîtuation  to seek for medical attention, but today God has used the foundation to regain my sight.”

Another beneficiary, Rhoda John said, “I cant write my life history without recourse to this foundation and only God will reward them for me. When this eyes challenge started, I thought it was a joke and just a minor issue but the situation later degenerated, so we decided to apply traditional medicine but to no avail. It later resulted in complete blindness until now that God has decided to heal me through this foundation.”

On his part, Joseph Yakubu who was healed of eyes complications urged the foundation to extend the exercise to all the 21 local governments stressing that, the poor masses are battling with so many  eye related complications and general health challenges which need urgent attention by all and sundry.

According to him, so many have lost their lives; some are still loosing their lives due to their inability to afford the medical expenses and mostly complications that can easily be handled but are too poor to afford such.

This is even as he called  on spirited individuals, groups and organisations to put humanity first in everything  they do and invest their God- given wealth in the health sector, noting that people must be healthy and alive before pursuing their endeavours.