President Olusegun Obasanjo has decried the high level of blindness across the world, saying this should not be so.
He stated this while addressing beneficiaries of the free eye test and surgery conducted at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) complex in Abeokuta, Saturday.
The OOPL Chief Promoter said he would continue to assist the less-privileged people with eye problem. “I was once a victim. I had to be operated on to be able to see with my eyes again. So I understand how you feel.
“I am surprised that we are still having cases of blindness in this age.This should have been 50 years behind us. If it is happening 50 years ago, we can understand, but not at this age and time.
It is not in Nigeria alone that change is desired, it is a global change that we need to seek so that the issue of blindness would be resolved once and for all,” Obasanjo posited.
Obasanjo who visited the in-patient section, where over 1,000 had been registered for either eye-test, treatment or free surgery, commended the team of ophthalmologists carrying out the exercise.
“You have to thank them. They are ready to attend to you. Just be patient and follow their instructions, those of you with serious cases, would have been treated and you will walk home unaided,” he said.
The wife of the former President, Bola, who was also at the centre was full of appreciation for the medical team. “As they have come at their own free-will to conduct this exercise, we are really impressed by their dedication and commitment to attend to this crowd since Thursday,” she said.
Mrs. Obasanjo also commended her husband for the passion and love to serve humanity, saying, “this goes beyond politics and religion. People are coming from all the nooks and crannies of the town to benefit from this free surgery,” she admitted.
Project Co-ordinator, Dr. Olalekan Makinde, disclosed that at least 1,000 people registered for the exercise.
“Yet, more people are still coming,” he added, and observed that more young people are suffering from eye problems.
Makinde hinted that the OOPL Free-eye surgery project has been conducted in some states of the federation, including neighbouring Republic of Benin.
He said some of the cases of blindness, like cataract are preventable, “yet, several people are ignorant of this”.
The second phase of the exercise, he said, would come to an end on Tuesday, with at least 2,500 people benefitting from the free test, treatment and surgery.