The Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) on Monday says it is providing free eye treatment to about 5,000 displaced persons in Borno.
Ms Amina Maibe, the Administrative Manager of PCNI in Borno, said this while inspecting the conduct of the exercise at the Eye Centre in Maiduguri.
Maibe said that the two-week exercise was designed to provide surgical operations to 400 patients with cataract and glaucoma, provide treatment to 3, 500 persons with various eye diseases and distribute 1, 000 glasses.
She explained that over 270 patients had so far benefitted from eye surgeries, while thousands others benefitted from free treatment since the exercise began in the past one week.
Maibe said that the patients were selected from various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri and from host communities.
“The exercise is designed to treat eye diseases and improvement of health status of the displaced persons.
“PCNI provides transportation to facilitate movement of the patients to the hospital, while free drugs and meals are provided during the treatment,” she said.
According to her, the exercise is being conducted in collaboration with the Borno Government and a Borno-based organisation, ARFO Eye Foundation.
Dr Mustapha Waziri, the Coordinator AFRO Eye Foundation, said that about 20 doctors and health personnel were deployed for the exercise.
Waziri said the team comprised of opticians, surgeons, nurses and pharmacists, among others.
He attributed the prevalence of eye diseases among the displaced persons to the environment, age and malnutrition.
“Cataract is a common disease, but curable. It is good to go for periodic test to maintain good eye health,” he said.
Some of the beneficiaries lauded the gesture, saying it would go a long way in improving their health status.
Mr Yakubu Gaykub and Modu Bemba, said they benefitted from cataract eye surgeries in the exercise.
The 65-year-old Gaykub said that he had lost his sight and could not see in the past three years.
“I could not see due to impaired vision. I was screened at the camp and went for surgical treatment at the clinic.