NGO to undertake free cataract treatment for 350 children in Nasarawa


Seeing is Believing (SIB), a Non Governmental Organisation funded by Standard Chartered Bank of United Kingdom, says it will facilitate free cataract surgery for 350 children in Nasarawa State before December 2019.

Mr William Eboh, the cluster 2 officer of SIB’s Comprehensive Child Eye Health in Nigeria programme, disclosed this on Thursday in Lafia, during an interactive session with health correspondents.

Eboh also said that the NGO would offer 1,000 eye glasses in collaboration with Health and Development Support Programme (HANDS), in Nasarawa State.

He said that the programme was being implemented in 11 states, adding that it was targeting 1.5 million children below the age of 14.

“The programme is aimed at reducing avoidable child blindness in the country,” he said, adding that the NGO was partnering with states health and education ministries and primary health care development agencies to meet the goal.

According to him, 13 Primary Heath Centres (PHCs), and two General Hospitals – in Wamba and Doma – were being used for the project in Nasarawa State.

He explained that personnels have been trained at the facilities to diagnose and treat issues affecting the eyes, while those requiring surgery would be referred to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), the facility designated for surgery for Nasarawa State.

Eboh said that 35 children had already benefited from the free cataract surgery in the state, as at December 2018.

Dr Ochoechi Aboje, Consultant Ophthalmologist from the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, who was a resource person at the meeting, said that 55 per cent of cases of blindness among children were avoidable, given available preventive measures and treatment.

He traced child blindness to Vitamin A deficiency, measles, harmful traditional medication and practices, as well as self medication.

Aboje, therefore, called on parents and care givers to desist from patronising traditional/herbal practitioners in treating eye related illnesses.

He also encouraged parents to always give their children food rich in vitamin A, especially fruits and vegetables, in order to improve eye sight and prevent blindness. (NAN)

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