By Prisca Sam-Duru
No fewer than one hundred and fifteen men and women including children, have benefited from the just concluded free eye surgeries conducted by Vision Care, an internation
al relief organisation under the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), an affiliate of the World Health Organisation, WHO.
Vision Care, a Korean NGO dedicated to the prevention of blindness, conducted free ophthalmic medical examination, and cataract surgery (phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation), between 30th September and October 4, 2019 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
While the surgeries took place courtesy of the Republic of Korea embassy, Korean companies in Nigeria and Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria LTD, there were four ophthalmologists, thirteen volunteers including nurses from the United States, South Korea and Ethiopia.
Speaking at the close of procedures, an excited Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Mr Lee In-Tae expressed happiness that people who couldn’t even see at all before, could see clearly now. “ I am happy that the surgeries were all successful. Even before removing the bandages from the eyes, many of the patients testified that they could see already. I went as far as asking some of them to read from a material that I gave them and they read so well, and I am impressed.”
“I’m so delighted to see that they have completely recovered their sights. Before they were blind but now they can see clearly after the cataract operation. I’m so happy for this event and very grateful to Samsung Heavy industries and Korean companies for their support. This year we operated on one hundred and fifteen patients including boys and girls. The eye surgical excercise has been going on since 2015 till 2019, and each year we performed the surgeries. We have Korean doctors and other volunteer workers from US and Nigeria who helped in the surgeries and now we are considering extending it to Abuja and some South East and Northern and other Southern areas. I don’t actually decide the areas.” He explained
The Korean Ambassador also disclosed that “Everything, from transportation fee, accommodation and feeding, to the surgeries, were all free. You know we had volunteers and also, Samsung Heavy industries sponsored the exercise so the patients didn’t need to pay anything. I’m also grateful to LASUTH for being available for the good work”
Aisha Shaibu one of the patients who spoke to our correspondent said that “I had cataract before and I couldn’t see. I was operated and now I can see everything. I’m so happy.
Gbaja Madaki, 59, also said he had cataract which blinded one eye but now he can see clearly again. They both prayed that God will bless the doctors, the sponsors and LASUTH for giving them back their sight.