Nigeria is a captivating and diverse country, but it faces significant challenges in providing healthcare to its rural and marginalized communities. One of the most pressing issues is blindness and visual impairment, often left untreated due to limited access to care. Specifically, uncorrected refractive error, cataracts, and glaucoma are the leading causes of visual problems in these regions.
However, the Niger Foundation Hospital and Diagnostic Centre is actively engaged in a project to address these challenges and improve the vision of people in rural areas around Enugu. This is made possible through contributions from Harambee, which provides its support to help these initiatives come to life. This approach reinforces local leadership and ensures that projects are truly responsive to community needs.
The Project and Its Goals So Far
The initiative is promoted by the Niger Foundation Hospital and Diagnostic Centre, a Nigerian entity committed to improving the health of the vulnerable population in Enugu. The project at hand has two key objectives: preventing and treating blindness and visual impairment in rural areas and establishing an Ophthalmology Center for cataract surgeries.
So far, the initiative has achieved remarkable results. A total of 565 patients have received free eye examinations, granting them access to much-needed care. The primary focus has been on rural communities, with 121 individuals undergoing free screenings at the Iwollo Rural Clinic. In addition to assessing visual acuity and conducting screening tests, patients have had access to refractive corrections and consultations with an ophthalmology specialist when needed. Furthermore, free medical examinations, including blood pressure and blood sugar measurements, have been conducted to ensure a holistic approach to health.
Agenda 2030 and Visual Health
The project aligns perfectly with the United Nations’ Agenda 2030, which promotes health and well-being for all. Improving the vision of people in Nigeria’s rural areas is a crucial step toward achieving sustainable development goals. Visual health is fundamental to quality of life, and access to adequate ophthalmic care is a fundamental right for every individual.
Nigeria faces significant healthcare challenges, including resource availability and equitable distribution of care. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has added additional pressures to the healthcare system. In this context, the vision improvement project in rural areas of Enugu becomes even more relevant as it aims to bridge the gap in access to ophthalmic care. “We are committed to improving the lives of people in rural communities around Enugu,” said Dr. Ito Diejomaoh, Director of the Hospital. “Thanks to the dedication of our team, we are making significant progress in treating preventable blindness and visual impairment. Our goal is to ensure that no one has to live with avoidable visual problems and that everyone has the opportunity to see the world clearly.” However, he explained, “We cannot do it alone. We need better facilities, more equipment, and more training and empowerment for our staff. And we need help to achieve this.”
Let’s Illuminate the Future of Enugu’s Vulnerable Population! Help us ensure adequate eye care: Even a small contribution matters. Donate here