18 February 2013

Nigeria: Foundation Restores Over 5,000 Eyesights, Flags Off Eye Care Centre

Danjuma Atta Eye Foundation has given hope and succor to the downtrodden as it has restored the sight of over 5,000 indigenes of Kogi State in the past six years.

The foundation has also embarked on establishing an eye care centre at Okene General Hospital, Kogi State.

Flagging creator off the initiative at Okene General hospital, Kogi State, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Abubakar Abdulsalam, who described the initiative as a laudable one, said the creator of the foundation, Danjuma Atta's intervention is timely as the hospital can now bring more health care services to the population.

He said before now, enough attention has not been given to eye care services as government alone cannot shoulder the burden.

Calling on partners to help deliver health care services to the populace, he said the Eye Care Foundation has sponsored about four outreaches in the state.

The Ciroma of Ebiraland who is also the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ataba Sanni Omolori, said it is important that the founder, Danjuma Atta be recognized for this initiative.

He said, "for a man who cannot see but now insists that everyone should see deserves commendation. I am particularly moved by this gesture".

A member of the board of the foundation who is also the Chairman/ chief executive of Gamji Group of companies, Alh Sanusi Abubakar, enthused, "If you do those things and you see somebody who is ready to follow that path, you are happy because you have somebody to leave a legacy to take over wherever you stop and that is exactly what Danjuma is doing. We pray that God will sustain him and make many of his type."

He said what inspired him to support the foundation, was that he is also into charity works as the founder of ASMA Foundation for orphans and the less priviledged.

"We have keyed into empowerment programmes for our people, including the intervention in the health sector, and most importantly, the field which Danjuma has chosen to support the society. We have been conducting eye treatment in the last six years and we have conducted surgeries for over 5,000 people in Kogi. We've equally handled refractory issues, lenses and all, including those with terminal issues like glaucoma. We have to continue to give them drugs, eye drops that can prolong the period, at least which can extend their sight. Some were able to live long with it. Just like you have a BP and you take drugs, you're able to manage it and live long.

Abubakar said though Okene General Hospital had an eye centre before, it's no longer functioning.

"You know the decadence that exists in government facilities and amenities. In fact, we didn't even have mortuary before until I provided it in 1998. So Danjuma is just trying to pick it up now and set up a standard one there. This is the only thing we can do to bequeath a good legacy. Charity is an investment. You do it so that when you get to God, you reap from it."

In his keynote address, a staff of Helen Keller Foundation, Dr Ima P. Chima, likened Atta to Helen Keller, adding that both of them rose above their disabilities and became activists in life.

According to him, eye health is an issue that concerns every one, and is essential for the health and productivity of a country's citizens.

He disclosed that the estimated loss in productivity resulting from visual impairment worldwide is $269 billion.

He stated that everyone has a responsibility of eliminating preventable blindness in the society.

Earlier in his remarks, the founder of Danjuma Atta Eye Care Foundation, Alh Danjuma Atta promised that in due course, all would be gathered to commission the new eye centre in the hospital.

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