About 50 Nigerians in Bauchi State have regained full sight after benefitting from a Free Eye Surgeries programme sponsored by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat in partnership with Charity for Cheer Foundation and the State Government.
The programme, a CSR-based intervention initiative designed to support the company’s host communities as well as vulnerable Nigerians, held at the Bayara Specialist Hospital, Dass Local Government area of Bauchi State with 50 patients suffering from cataract infections successfully operated upon during the three days.
Speaking at the flag-off of the initiative, the Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Ibrahim Dikko, who was represented by the company’s Head, Government and Community Relations, Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf, said the initiative reflects the company’s dedication to delivering on sustainable community support programmes that complement the efforts of partner governments to the utmost benefit of the people.
“Etisalat is committed to delivering sustainable community support programmes. We are truly passionate about helping our host communities because we believe that corporate organisations should make positive impacts on the host communities in which they operate. The Free Eye Surgeries Camp is a rewarding experience that helps visually impaired and vulnerable persons recover their full sight to enable them remain productive members of their immediate communities,” he said.
Also speaking, the chairperson of Charity for Cheer Foundation, a non-Governmental Organisation which coordinates the exercise, Mariam Shehu Mohammed, expressed delight that the Foundation was partnering to make life worth living for the vulnerable in line with its vision of impacting the lives of the people around who may not have someone to help them.
In his own remarks, Deputy Director, Planning, Ministry of Health, Bauchi
State, Jibrin Mohammed Barnomu, commended Etisalat for the demonstration of commitment to partner with the State Government on delivering vital health benefits to the people of the state.
“We are really pleased to have them come around to complement the efforts of the state government in the area of healthcare delivery,” he said.
Meanwhile, some of the beneficiaries have commended Etisalat Nigeria for the intervention, describing it as heart-lifting.
One of the beneficiaries, Ladi Haruna, said, “I am really grateful to the organisers of this programme. I can see very well now unlike before when I could not see farther. I hardly could cross roads without help especially in the night.”
Another beneficiary, Ibrahim, a 55 year- old journalist with NTA, Bauchi and father of four recounted how his career had suffered setback because of cataract infection.
His words, “Honestly, I am grateful. I feel better. I really appreciate this kind gesture. I have been affected in my career greatly. I found it difficult to work with computers or laptops because I always had headache whenever I did so.”
The Etisalat-sponsored Free Eye Surgeries Camp, a Community Support Initiative, is part of its multi-faceted CSR programme that is committed to giving value to its host communities through various intervention programmes covering education, health, etc. It held simultaneously in Gombe State where 50 patients also benefitted from the initiative.