The Federal Government has, between January and December 2018, provided free cataract surgery to over 10,000 poor Nigerians.
The surgeries were sponsored by the federal government in partnership with other partners.
The free surgeries were carried out by the ‘ PMB Restores Vision Project’ of the Federal Ministry of Health under the supervision of the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole.
The programme is meant to restore sight to those affected by cataract but don’t have the financial capacity to foot the cost of the surgery independently.
Beneficiaries of the surgery, which was carried out on a first-come-first-served basis, across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT included those who had blind or severely impaired patient due to cataract with visual acuity, brisk papillary reaction to light, no ocular infection, controlled hypertension, no diabetes, among other conditions.
Speaking with journalists, the National Coordinator of the programe, Dr Ibrahim Kana, revealed that as a result of successes recorded in the first batch of the project, the free surgery will still continue this year in some states of the federation.
He disclosed that Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has recently launched the programme in Markarfi Local Government Area of the state.
Also, some of the states have completed the required number of surgeries across each of the three senatorial districts.
The project, according to Dr Kana, is a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health, the Opthalmological Society of Nigeria, State Eye Health Committees as representatives of the state Ministry of Health and other care partners in the country.
Findings revealed that cataract accounts for at least 43% of all blindness with about 2million adults aged 40 years and above requiring cataract surgery and over a quarter(650, 000) cannot see at all as a result of the ailment.