The family of former Head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has sponsored the operation of 150 cataract patients as part of events heralding the former Nigerian leader’s 70th birthday.
The former Head of state who was accompanied by his wife Justice Fati and daughter Dr Amina in a visit to IBB Specialist Hospital where the operation took place over the weekend, maintained that the family choose the humanitarian gesture to mark the beginning of the celebration.
The daughter, Dr Amina Abubakar, who spoke for the family, said the family decided to organise the surgery for the cataract patients as part of their contribution to health care delivery services in the state.
According to her, ``We want to show appreciation to Almighty Allah for the good health bestowed on our father, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, who will clock 70 years on Wednesday by assisting the less fortunate members of the society”.
She explained that, ``Cataract is a treatable eye disease but ignorance and poverty had resulted in their sufferers going through difficult times, as they could not afford to pay for the surgery, thus the reason for us to intervene and save them from becoming blind``.
Amina who recalled that the family had been involved in voluntary health services to the people of the state said that last year, the family sponsored the correction surgery for cleft patients.
The Medical Director of IBB Specialist Hospital, Dr Mohammed Makun-Sidi commended the former Head of State for his humanitarian gesture to the people that were suffering from cataract.
Makun-sidi pointed out that the hospital had been re-positioned to provide excellent medical services at affordable rate. ``We are presently providing dialysis service to the public in order to curb the penchant for foreign medical treatment”.
Similarly the coordinator of the Niger State Eye Health Care programme, Dr Idris Isah Jibril said that the state had over 15000 cases of cataract mainly in the rural areas that were not aware that blindness from cataract was treatable.
He said that it was towards this end that the state eye centre was well equipped and advocacy visit to the rural areas increased.