At least 5,000 free eye surgeries are expected to be carried out in Delta State within the next three weeks by the O5 Initiative, a pet project of the wife of the state governor, Dame Edith Okowa.
The first lady in the state stated this, on Wednesday, while flagging off the 2021 O5 Initiative Free Grassroots Medical outreach at the Central Hospital, Eku in the Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state.
According to her, the gesture is the second time in three years O5 initiative in collaboration with Restore Eyesight Africa was conducting a statewide free eye care outreach to reach vulnerable groups.
“In 2018, God helped us to carry out over 2,000 eye surgeries, it is our prayer that this year, not less than 5,000 successful surgeries will be carried out.
“Unlike in 2018, this year, we are not able to go to all the 25 LGAs but decided to do it at a senatorial district level so that everyone can converge at a venue.
“In the next four days, our medical team will be around to carry out free medical consultations, dispense correctional glasses and drugs as well as carry out surgeries where necessary.
“In addition to the eye care, there would be free blood and sugar tests as well as free COVID-19 tests to ensure that everyone is safe.
“When we are through with Eku, we will move to Oleh under Delta South next week after which we will be in Asaba under Delta North to carry out the same exercise.
“I must say however that I am not happy with the level of turnout. It means that our politicians and opinion leaders did not do their work well.
“We expected more people to be around since eight LGAs are converging. I, therefore, urge everyone to go back home and tell their people, as many as have eye issues to come so that they access free medical care and so that our officials do not return with the equipment meant for the people.”
The wife of the governor emphasized that the outreach was not limited to Deltans alone but crosses tribal boundaries to meet anyone who needs the services being offered.
She appreciated the Coordinator of the Restore Sight Africa Initiative, Dr Ernest Ogbedo for his humanitarian disposition and the state ministry of health for collaboration.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Ethiope East Local Government Area, Pharm. Victor Ofobrukueta said, “Deltans are indeed proud of the activities of the O5 Initiative that has transformed lives.
“We are privileged to host the outreach this year and pray that Her Excellency is continually strengthened for what lies ahead.”
Dr Ogbedo on his part, reechoed the stance of the wife of the governor, encouraging opinion leaders and politicians to help bring people who need eye medications but are unable to come unaided.
Some patients at the venue testified of their improved sights after receiving correctional glasses.
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