1,200 benefit as Palmgrove Rotary club’s eye camp ends
NO fewer than 1,200 patients smiled home from the 17-day free eye surgeries camp titled, “Save the Sight 2015,” which was organised in Lagos and Ogun states by the Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, and Indo Eye Care Foundation.
Speaking yesterday at a dinner in Lagos in honour of the team of doctors and medical staff of Rotary Eye Institute, India, who did the surgeries, and sponsors of this edition of the free eye camp, an ex-president of the club, Naranbhai Patel, expressed satisfaction at the success of the exercise.
He thanked the visiting medical team, members of the club and such donors as Vama Wave Foundation and Lalwani Joginder of Therapeutic Laboratories, Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, and a former president of the club, Dr. Alexander Thomopulos, for their immense contributions as well as the publicity given the programme.
In his address, Chartered President, Dr. Deep Mirani, who also thanked the visiting medical team and the rotary club, said that no fewer than 20,000 surgeries had been successfully carried out since the inception of the Free Eye Surgery Camp.
To take the exercise further, especially to the grassroots, Mirani disclosed that plans have been concluded and necessary papers obtained for an eye hospital to be cited in Lagos, adding that construction work would soon begin on the structure.
Also commending the Indian doctors and medical staff, as well as donors, President of Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, Ramesh Biswal Biswal, noted: “Your team has done a marvelous job, having carried out 1,200 surgeries in Lagos and Ogun states. Without you, we would not have achieved this project.
“As Dr. Mirani has explained, an eye hospital would soon be established in Nigeria and we would need nothing less than N300 million for the project.
Our club, which started in 2008 with the leadership of Mr. Patel, Dr. Mirani and supported by Dr. (Alexander) Thomopulos and other Rotarians, presently has 73 members, hoping to become a mega club next year with 100 members.
“Apart from this major project, the club has also given out over 50,000 artificial limbs, organised health camps with 100 beneficiaries at each camp, given free drugs, organised vocational trainings for the youth and given out three smart canes for those whose eyes could not be operated, and would still give 97 more to honour Mr. Patel, who was awarded MFR by the Nigeria Government.”
Nevertheless, leader of the doctors, Dr. Yogesh Naik, attributed their success to the cooperation of the government of Lagos and Ogun states, doctors and Nigerians, adding: “We were able to carry out 650 surgeries in Lagos and 550 in Abeokuta successfully and we thank the personalities behind the project.”
Meanwhile, Lady Alex-Ibru noted that the joy of the beneficiaries could not be quantified as she shared in their excitement. She said: “We see and do a lot with our eyes, without which nothing virtually could be done.
“I thank all contributors to this programme, the team of Indian doctors and their leader, Dr. Naik, who have done us so proud, members of Rotary Club of Lagos, Palmgrove Estate, Mr. Patel, Dr. Mirani and the respective donors.”
On his part, Thomopulos felt touched by the story of a 78-year-old female beneficiary, who had to be persuaded with N10, 000 because she resisted being operated, likening the giver to the Biblical Good Samaritan.
“It was ascertained by the doctor that the old woman would remain blind for the rest of her life and out of compassion, an individual offered her N10, 000 after resisting operation four times. She then agreed and was operated on the two eyes, with all the money paid,” he narrated.
“The lesson here is that the deed of the magnanimous giver of the money for the aged woman not to remain blind the rest of her life could be likened to that of the Good Samaritan. Secondly, as a leader, if you cannot solve problems, you are a liability to your company, liability to the family, liability to everyone.
“The deduction is that simple psychology, with the right thinking, will turn the world around. It is therefore our responsibility to do whatever we can to help our neighbours.”
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