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Poverty causing eye diseases, blindness in North-East —Medical director laments



The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Azare in Bauchi state, Dr Abubakar Dauda Katagum has lamented the prevalence of blindness in the North East subregion of the country.

He disclosed that recent health indices had rated the subregion as the highest in terms of number of people going blind due to various eye infections particularly, cataracts.

The CMD stated this while fielding questions from Journalists at the Permanent Site of FMC Azare during the free medical outreach sponsored by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu tagged JigiJagaban under the Envision a brighter future project.

Dr Katagum associated the prevalence of the eye infection to poverty among the people of the subregion stressing that poor standard of living was a major contribution to the problem.

On the free medical outreach, the CMD commended the initiative saying it would go a long way to give relief to the patients who ordinarily cannot afford the cost of treatment.

According to him, “during the three days outreach, we are targeting to have minor surgery for not less than 100 people who have cataracts while others with other medical problems will be treated.”

Read also:Nigerian govt disregards medical brain drain, says country has ‘enough doctors’

He also said that eye glasses will be given free to those who are diagnosed to need it for correction and fixing of eye sights.

He said that not less than 5,000 people will be treated during the three days medical outreach, and called on other politicians to emulate the gesture of the sponsors of the outreach because according to him, “Nigerians need to be kept healthy.”

In his contribution, the Chief Consultant Optamologist, Dr Saminu stressed the importance of taking care of the eyes saying that a sound eye would promote healthy body considering the fact that the eye is needed to do a lot of things.

He said that,”So far, we have successfully carried out cataract surgery on 80 patients and we intend to complete 100 before the end of the outreach which has afforded the people who are mostly poor the opportunity to access free medical services.

The Consultant Optamologist assured that aside from education on how to take care of eyes, the patients will be examined regularly through medical follow-up for few weeks to ensure that they have better.

By Yemi Kanji

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