The annual First City Monument Bank (FCMB)’s sponsored free eye screening and cataract surgery programme known as, Priceless Gift of Sight, has commenced in Kebbi, Cross Rivers and Imo states.
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative involves eye screening tests, full ophthalmic medical examination, eye surgeries, provision of free medication, eye glasses and counselling for those suffering from cataract, an eye defect that could lead to blindness if not promptly treated.
This marks the eight consecutive year the bank is organising this intervention programme in partnership with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF), a Nigerian-Indian non-profit organisation. Thousands of people across Nigeria have so far benefited from the exercise since it commenced in 2009. This year, the Bank sponsored 500 eye surgeries in Kebbi, Cross Rivers and Imo states, while thousand others underwent the screening for cataract during the programme.
In 2016, a total number of 2,328 people were screened in Cross Rivers, Katsina and Kebbi states with 400 eye surgeries successfully performed. The bank has previously carried out the programme in Adamawa, Imo, and Ogun states.
The bank’s Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Diran Olojo, said, “the importance of sight to the well-being of an individual and the nation cannot be over-emphasised. We are proud to sustain the sponsorship of this initiative with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation because it has continued to positively touch and transform the lives of thousands of people, homes, businesses and indeed, the society”.
A beneficiary, a 78 year old Jonathan Nwosu of Umuaro autonomous community, Nkwere Local Government of Imo State described the initiative as a service to humanity.
Another beneficiary of the eye surgery in Kebbi state, Mustafa Muhammed also commended FCMB and TCF for coming to his aid and thousands of others suffering from cataract through the priceless gift of sight initiative.
Also speaking on the programme, the Chief Operating Officer of Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF), Col Prasad said: “the priceless gift of sight has gone a long way to transform the lives of people, especially the poor and needy who suffer from cataract in Nigeria, but cannot afford the resources to go through tests, medication and surgery.
There is no gift in the world better than giving sight to the sightless. Our Foundation is grateful to FCMB for its kind and generous support over the years towards the noble cause of eliminating the scourge of avoidable blindness, while also give hope to the hopeless’’.