An international NGO, International Organisation for Relief Welfare and Development, IORWD, has conducted free cataract surgeries on no fewer than 550 patients at the Dutse General Hospital.
The free eye surgeries were conducted by the World Muslims League through IORWD, sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supported by the Jigawa State Government.
The Health Coordinator for the international organisation, Nigeria Regional Office, Ahmed Muhammad, revealed that the organisation was set to conduct free cataract surgeries for 700 patients.
According to him, the team had so far conducted almost 550 surgeries starting from Saturday to Tuesday, adding that the team would roundup within the week and depart for Gombe State.
Mr Muhammad recalled that in 2018 the same mission was in Jigawa, where 500 patients were targeted but in the end only 900 patients were operated on.
He said: “I think this year we are very successful too, because our target was 700, but so far we have done almost 550 and hope to conduct up to 814 cases,” he said.
“From here we are going to move to other states. We are going to conduct in Gombe, Bauchi, Oyo and Kaduna. In each state we are targeting 500 patients.
“As Muslim World League, we in Health sector we have different programmes not only eye, we also have a cardiac programme and we are hoping to have heart surgeries in Sokoto state,” he added.
Earlier, the Tropical Diseases and Eye care Programme Manager at the state Ministry of Health, Abdulrahman Amin, disclosed that although 700 patients were targeted, the team was shocked to discover that over 800 people needed to be operated on.
According to Mr Amin, the number of affected people prompted the arrangements for the free surgery.
He said: “That is why the International Organisation for Relief Welfare and Development come to the aid of the state to collaborate with the state government through the Ministry of Health, Jigawa State, to ensure that those who are blind due to cataract may have their sights restored.
“The state government and other philanthropists and partners have been collaborating to ensure that they restored the sights of the people of the state.
”Many are blind due to the positive agent of blindness that can be prevented like cataracts, like tracheae’s, all these are the actual cause of blindness among our rural populace that are preventable,” the official said.
The programme manager expressed delight that so far the surgeries performed were very successful, assuring that “the patients’ sights will be restored immediately after the surgery.”