Blind man of 40 years pension, others narrate how sights were restored ….

The University College Hospital has again strengthened her eye outreach services in Ibadan, Nigeria. This was observed during the end of year stakeholders Party held at LEO (Layaju, Oloko, and Elere) Community area of Apata, Ibadan, Oyo State. The event attracted the cream and representation of the coverage communities and stake holders, including the Eye Experts, the Health Support team, the Resident Traditional rulers from Elere, Elebu, Aworosonso  and Olosun, Community Leaders, the middle class people, the professionals from different fields of endeavors, Priests and the peasants.

At the ceremony, history of the establishment of some outreach centers was recalled and it was noted that the LEO Vision Centre was one of them.

It will be recalled that others Eye outreach centers established at that time were the Eye Centre at Olubadan’s Palace Aremo, Outreach Eye Camp at Mapo, Baale Ekotedo Eye Centre and Odebode Village Eye Centre, all in Ibadan. They were all established as part of the institution’s effort to improve vision for all by the year 2020. At that time about 33 more outreach centers were planned to be established in Oyo State.

Public Health opinion are unanimous that ailing eye conditions should not be left to self-medication or quacks because the eye is a very important organ of the body, hence the need for people to avail themselves of the facilities at their doorsteps.

At this year’s LEO/UCH Vision Centre Stakeholders Party, Dr. (Mrs.) A.O. Ayorinde, a Consultant Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist) and Head of Vision at UCH who was one of the Outreach Foundation Doctors observed the dying state of the outreach project.                                                                                                                                            She urged Community members, beneficiaries and stakeholders to discuss the project’s services in the Schools, Churches on Saturdays and Sundays and in Mosques during Fridays’ Jumat services or at Club meetings, market groups gatherings and during social engagements. This she said is to effectively invite those who have not known about the rare services brought to the community and thereby strengthening the continuity of the project. She said the banner at the doorstep of the Eye Centre is good but not sufficient because many people could even pass by it without reading it. People need to discuss the services of the project, she affirmed.                                                         Dr. (Mrs.) Ayorinde also said that if a house to house search is conducted, the Community’s Outreach Centre will be full and not be able to accommodate the patients. She added that many people do not seek medical care for their eye ailment due to lack of money and the stress of access to secure experts’ care. She narrated that even among the patients who were operated upon through the Outreach Centre, the University College Hospital paid for some of the patients’ cataract operation fees. She also noted that 80% of eye cases that are treated at UCH can be effectively treated at LEO Vision outreach Centre. She urged individuals, Mosques, Churches and even political parties to sponsor slots for financially handicapped people that require cataract treatment which at present cost N30,000 per operation.

Also, she said that those that have gone through the outreach services could testify of their easy and quick access at securing satisfactory eye cataract operation and care from experts. Beside the effort of Dr. Tunde Ologundudu to sustain the Outreach project, Dr.(Mrs.) Ayorinde noted the efforts of some others. She showered encomium on Mrs. Popoola, Mrs. Iluyomade and Mr. Oje the trio of who helped to train the Helpers that work at the Centre, thereby preventing the collapse of the Eye Outreach project.

Also, a pharmacist from Fortis Pharmacy told the audience that of about 56 ailments that could afflict the eye, 85% of all visual impairment can be corrected. He urged people to seek care from experts on eye matters.

Testimonies were voluntarily disclosed by some of the beneficiaries of the eye operations that were done through the LEO Eye Outreach Centre. Pa. Oladoyinbo, a visually impaired resident in a nearby Ifesowapo community testified that he is a native of Abeokuta, and has pensioned from Police Service for over 40 years (1977 retiree). He thanked the Doctors and LEO community for their assistance at regaining his sight that had been lost for ten years past. He related how he knew of the project through a man who had meritoriously served Ifesowapo community but later gone blind and later regained sight through the LEO Community Outreach Eye Centre. He was about to be put off for lack of money as he had gone and spent money on the blindness at many places but for Dr. Ologundudu assured him of assisted treatment. The sum total is that he underwent an eye operation through the Outreach Centre and successfully regained his eye sight. He was full of thanks to the Doctors, Health workers and LEO community.               Another man, Deacon Akin OLagunju, a retired Grammar School Principal and former Chairman of LEO Community Landlord Association testified how one Dr. (Mrs.) Adebusuyi of UCH was invited to give health talk on Longevity to his members but was too busy to attend. Continued pressure from the Association made her to send one Mrs. Amoo who later found out that where she was to represent Dr. Adebusuyi was a near community.

Olagunju further narrated that as God would have it, Mrs. C.O. Amoo gave lecture on General Health matters but as a specialist in eye care, she concentrated more of her lecture on eye matters. She even looked at residents eyes that day in the process of her lecture and kept joking with the residents. Attracted by the arrangement of the physical environment and the articulate community members’ interactions, she did not know when she jokingly said that an Eye Outreach Centre can be suitable in the Community. Hearing that slip of the tongue, the Community leadership swung into action, improved and adapted their Hall structure to accommodate Eye-care and did a follow up. The end outcome is the approval of the establishment of LEO/UCH Vision Centre in February 2010. It was during the opening ceremony that he (Deacon Olagunju) heard that people could bring clients of any age for treatment on eye impairment including cataract. On hearing the phrase “..could bring clients of any age for treatment on eye impairment…” he seized the opportunity and his mother of 120 years old and many years in blindness was operated for cataract and was able to see before she died some years after. Olagunju happily testified that making his aged mother to see again was the greatest happiness of his life. He urged people to cheerfully do whatever goodness they could do, as goodness would come round for the doer as it did for him on the case of his 120 year old blind mother who regained her sight. He thanked Dr. (Mrs) A.O. Ashaye, Dr.(Mrs.) A.O. Ayorinde, Mrs. C.O. Amao and many others who made the establishment of the Outreach Centre possible.

Other persons came to testify were from far and near including a woman who came from Olode-Adegbayi, Alakia, Ibadan to Oloko, Apata, Ibadan, more than 20 kilometers apart. She testified that she had gone far and wide, spent resources in order to see but could not see until she heard of the opportunity of the Outreach Centre through where she underwent treatment and was able to see again.
Above: A section of the Audience at the LEO/UCH Vision Centre Stakeholders Party (15/12/2017)

In his contribution, Chief Lateef Lawal – pioneer Chairman of Leo Community said the mere fact that the Outreach is located at LEO community does not prevent other communities from enjoying or supporting the Outreach Centre. He said the Vision Outreach Centre is for all to benefit and support.                                                                                The ceremony Tagged; LEO/UCH Vision Centre Stakeholders Party (15/12/2017) with its merriments and glamour was sponsored and successfully organized by Dr. Tunde Ologundudu of the University College Hospital Ibadan.                                                          It was learnt at the Centre that many of those whose sight have been restore were so poor that some could not get transport fare to the Hospital but were enabled by sponsors unknown by them. Dr. Ayorinde, the Head of Vision therefore used the opportunity of the occasion to invite individuals, Associations, Clubs, Mosques, Churches and even Business Organizations far and near, willing to sponsor one, two, three or more patients for Eye treatment to come forward and see the Doctor in charge at the Outreach Centre that day and e



By Ess Kay

PublicTimes Nigeria (ISSN: 2250 –9295)

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