Tinubu approves five million eyeglasses for Nigerians with impediment
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Friday gave his approval to an initiative to provide more than five million pairs of eyeglasses to Nigerians with sight impediments.
Tinubu’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, in Abuja in a statement said the president has declared his unwavering support for a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Health’s National Eye Health Programme and the Peek Vision Foundation.
Ngelale said that the president in approving the initiative recounted how close to home his first intervention in eye health was.
Tinubu thereafter made a pledge on behalf of the Federal Government (FG) during a courtesy visit by the Founder and CEO of Peek Vision Foundation and Co-Founder of the Vision Catalyst Fund, Prof. Andrew Bastawrous.
“My first experience was with my mother of blessed memory. She was ill and she could not recognise me. When I intervened, she was treated and given a pair of glasses,” Tinubu said.
“The next question she asked me was: I have you, and you are able to do this for me. What about those other women and their children who may not have somebody like you to intervene for them?
“So I made a promise to her that I will pursue the mass provision of eye care vigorously and that I would provide free eye screenings and surgeries to people because of that question my mother asked me and because of her passion to see others healed.
“We eventually impacted the eye health of millions of people in Lagos, and you could see their joy over the immediate sight enhancements when they were given a pair of glasses.”
Highlighting the pressing need for improved eye health services in Nigeria, Ngelale said Tinubu expressed concern about the more than 24 million Nigerians grappling with varying degrees of vision impairments.
“We must act now because sight and vision is critical to economic development and growth,” the President said, recalling his visionary “Jigi Bola” programme, which was initiated during his tenure as the Executive Governor of Lagos State in 2001 and provided free eye screenings and surgeries to Lagosians while setting a new precedent for proactive eye care initiatives in West Africa.
“I am in support of this initiative, and I will encourage the mobilisation of further commitment to see this through and to reach vulnerable people all across our country.
“Some parents may not pay attention to this, but I will, because I am touched.”
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