Health Minister, Dr Osagie Ehanire

Health Minister Seeks Stronger Partnership for Universal Eye Care

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has solicited for a stronger partnership and collaboration between Federal Ministry of Health and the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) to provide better eye care to all Nigerians at all level.

The Minister, who was represented by a Director in the Honourable Minister’s Office, Dr. Nasir Sani Gwarzo disclosed this at the World Sight Day Exhibition by Tulsi Chanrai Foundation Eye Hospital (managed by Alavin Eye Care System) at Oladipo Diya Street, Kukuwaba, in Abuja, recently.

Dr. Osagie said that globally, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has a leadership role in preparing the annual World Sight Day. However, the Minister said that this year World Sight Day is been observed on October 10, with the theme “Vision First”, and the celebration is one of the most important communication and advocacy events on the Eye health calendar.

The Minister pointed out that the exhibition will go a long way in educating the public in general and students in particular on the numerous ways to prevent eye diseases, present new opportunities to witness recent advancements made in the eye health and also provide valuable information on the causes, effects and available treatment options for various eye diseases and disorders.

He noted that the audio-visual aids extensively deployed at the Exhibition as means of educating the public on the symptoms, signs and treatment procedures of eye problems will greatly simplify and ease understanding.

Dr. Osagie appreciated the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation especially it’s Hospital for organizing the 2 day event to mark the 2019 World Sight Day and for all its activities in Nigeria.

In his welcome address, the Co-ordinator and Founder of Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, Mr. Shravan Kumar informed that TCF has conducted free surgical interventions and restored sight for over 122,000 Nigerians, adding that it is the technical collaboration with Aravind Eye Care System that established Tulsi Chanrai Foundation Eye Hospital, Abuja.

Mr. Kumar further said that its foundation endeavours to significantly  contribute to the fight against avoidable blindness through increasing cataract surgical rates, capacity building of ophthalmic personnel and ensuring availability, accessibility and affordability of quality services across Nigeria.

The Co-ordinator Solicited for the support of all and sundry, in order to actualise the theme of this year’s World Sight day: ‘’Vision First”. “Awareness is the first step in addressing any problem so let us pledges that each one of us will at least educate 3 new persons every day on Eye care and importance of eye cares, and in turn ask them to educate 3 new persons every day. Within a short period of time, we will reach each and every one across Nigeria emphasising the importance of sight”.

Earlier in her introductory remarks, the Chief Medical Officer (CMD), Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, Dr, Dora Binda informed that 4.2 per cent of Nigerians are blind, most of them are 40 years and above, and three quarters of the causes are either preventable or treatable.

The CMD therefore, advised the public to always embark on routine checks on their eyes to avoid careless blindness.

Enefaa Bob-Manuel

Head (Media & Public Relations)