“On the approval and sponsorship of His Excellency the Governor, 450 patients have benefitted from free cataract surgeries without paying a dime. This includes the 250 beneficiaries in the one that we have just concluded today. In addition, about 1000 glasses were also distributed,” Permanent Secretary of the Kwara State Ministry of Health Dr Abubakar Ayinla told reporters in Ilorin on the sideline of the free cataract surgeries held at the civil service clinic in Ilorin.
“We are here to celebrate with the beneficiaries of free cataract surgeries sponsored by Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. You will recall that in November last year, we did a statewide tour and at least 15 cases were operated in each of the 16 local government areas. We did some cases in excess and about 200 cases were operated.
“Yet, we did a need analysis and we realised that there are some gaps. There are some who could not benefit from the previous exercise. The second one which we are rounding up today was also scheduled over six weeks in specific local governments and regions of the three senatorial districts.
“So, we’ve gone to Kwara North where we took four hospitals in each of the four local government. For Kwara South, we went to Omu-Aran last week and for Kwara Central, we started surgeries yesterday (Thursday) here at the Civil Service Hospital Ilorin. 50 patients benefitted yesterday and all put together, we have 250 beneficiaries.”
Dr Ayinla added that the surgical interventions have restored sight to some people and improved their productivity and contributions to the society.
The chairman Kwara State House of Assembly Committee on Health Hon Rasak Owolabi, for his part, said the present administration is investing heavily in the health sector and commended Governor AbdulRazaq for prioritising the sector.
The coordinator of the Kwara Eye Care Outreach Dr Mohammed Solagberu said the state is committed to treating eyes cases from the state and beyond with less bureaucracy.
“Among the five sense organs of the body, eyes are very important and when somebody is blind you have not only taken that person out of productivity, you are taking a lot of people out of productivity. Somebody who is blind cannot do many things on his or her own. He becomes dependent. This could take some children out of school,” he said, specifically commending the Governor for paying good attention to the health sector.
Some of the beneficiaries — Alhaji Saka Dagbo, Muhammad Jiya, Mrs Adama Dikko, and Elder James Adebisi — commended Governor AbdulRazaq for the sponsorship of the surgical interventions without any political considerations.
“This is probably not the first time such programmes will be organised in Kwara State. But this is the first time such will be organised without political or other considerations,” Alhaji Dagbo.
The beneficiaries hailed the Governor for prioritising the poor masses in his programmes, including free health insurance scheme and the social investment programmes like Owo Arugbo and Owo Isowo.