36 regain sight after Adamawa’s medical outreach

Onimisi Alao, Yola

Thirty-six people who had suffered vision loss for many years have regained their sight following a medical outreach in communities around the northern part of Adamawa State.

The 36, who had been considered totally blind for between five and 20 years, were able to see for the first time after doctors worked on them free of charge.

The 36 were among over a hundred people with varying degrees of cataract afflictions identified by medical volunteers mobilised by Iya Abbas Foundation for outreach in Uba Gaya, Kwalhi/Maraba Mubi and Hong town, all in Hong local government area.

The cataract patients, the 36 who were suffering total sight loss and 70 others with other sight conditions had successful surgeries sponsored by Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) mostly at hospitals in Uba Gaya and Kwarhi, according to Dr Hauwa Iya Abbas who coordinated the medical outreach.

“We had a pre-program Needs Assessment when we identified over 3,000 patients needing intervention over various health challenges,” Dr Hauwa told newsmen in a post-programme interview at her Yola residence during the weekend.

She explained further: “Our target was to see 100 cataract patients but we were able to see 106. For the general surgeries (outside eye-related cases) we were able to do 126, cutting across various health conditions.”

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Returning to the joy of those who regained their sight following the intervention by the Iya Abbas Foundation and Petroleum Trust Fund, Dr Hauwa said although a good number of cataract sufferers turned up during registration for the programme, the programme could only accommodate 106 of the worst cases.

“We went mostly for the most severe cases, especially those who had lost vision in one or both eyes,” she said, adding that after the surgeries, the beneficiaries went home as happily changed persons.

The Iya Abbas Foundation conducted the free medical outreach courtesy of funding from PEF around Hong local government area, the home of the Foundation which was formed by the siblings of the late Alhaji Iya Abbas, including Rt Hon Abubakar Iya Abbas, speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, in honour of the late patriarch.

Expressing her appreciation to all who made the free medical outreach programme a success, Dr Hauwa said, “PEF went above and beyond as the major sponsors of the programme. We also collaborated with the Association of Resident Doctors, other doctors, nurses and pharmacists who came around and took the stress from everything.”