Scores of Gambians and other affected people Tuesday benefited from a free eye treatment initiative from the World Assembly of Muslim Youths (WAMY), an organisation that brought to The Gambia surgeons and doctors from Pakistan.
Organised in Bwiam in the Kansala District of Foni, the initiative formed part of the humanitarian efforts of WAMY in their quest to reach out to those affected people who are enduring sight-related problems.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chief executive officer of the Sulayman Junkung Jammeh General Hospital in Bwiam, Kebba Badjie, expressed his sincere gratitude to the doctors and WAMY head office for the initiative.
Badjie urged all present at the occasion to close their eyes for a few seconds and feel the dimness and darkness around, so as to understand what was is like to be blind. He noted that the eye patients have been in the hospital for days and are looking highly on them to restore their sights. He described WAMY doctors as those without boundaries, given the fact that they have the ability to restore sights free of charge.
A representative of the Federation of Islamic Medical Association, Dr Intzal Hussain Butt, who is one of the eye surgeons from Pakistan, said it is gratifying to be able to come to the country and help Gambians. He explained that their Federation consists of 30 institutions, which has so far had 445 eye camps across the world.
He disclosed that they operated more than 68,000 people, as well as treated about a million people and taught eye surgeons. He noted that they have very good doctors, saying their work is done for the reward of Allah (S.A.W). "37 million people are blind in the world; every 5 seconds someone goes blind and every minute, a child goes blind and won't be able to see the world," he lamented.
On behalf of his colleagues, he thanked Dr. Rajah, the director of WAMY in Senegal, for his contributions; representatives in the country; the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare; the management of Sulayman Junkung Jammeh General Hospital in Bwiam, for their collaboration.
Dr. Butt then explained that there are various forms of eye defects, but noted that the most common is cataracts. He urged all to eat the proper amount of vitamin especially protein and vitamin A, while stressing that every newly born baby is expected to have an eye check-up, as well as all adults who should ensure that they check their eyes at least once a year.
The coordinator of the surgeons and doctors in the country, Imam Ibrahim Jarjue, said this is a platform to spread the word of Islam, as well as a form of charity for all who participated in the event. He also stated that it is their wish to make the doctors feel at home in order to make them come a second time.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer, one of the patients, Malang Camara, expressed his sincere thanks to the doctors for coming to their aid. He told this reporter that he wasn't born blind but due to some circumstances, he lost his sight. He anticipated the joy they would get once their sights are restored through this treatment.