Date: January 11th - 31st 2016
Partners: FEYReP, MTN Foundation and the Eye Foundation
Theme: Eye Restoration Intervention Scheme (EyeRiS)
- To provide 2000 persons with medicated glasses for the enhancement of sight.
- To provide eye surgical services to 2000 persons
- To provide counselling and medication to 10,000 persons.
- Ending preventable blindness in our communities.
- Helping the poor access free eye care services.
- Empowering the citizens to be more productive by awakening the young and the aged to be more vigilant in the care of their eyes.
- Raising the bar in preventing and treating treatable eye problems.
Introduction: Visual impairment and blindness are major health problems worldwide and Akwa Ibom State and her citizens are not left out. It has therefore become imperative to create sufficient awareness on eye care and the importance of regular eye check-ups through the following:
- To patronise qualified ophthalmologists.
- To shun self -eye medication.
- To shun the use of traditional medicine and the patronage of traditional medicine practioners.
- To disabuse the minds of the people that medical issues can be treated effectively in spiritual healing homes
The Eye Restoration Intervention Scheme (EyeRIS) program was flagged off on the 11th of January 2016, at the Ibom Hall grounds with several government functionaries and representatives of corporate organizations in attendance. The Honourable Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, expressed gratitude to MTN Foundation for the partnership.
Mrs Nonny Ugboma, Executive Secretary of MTN Foundation said that the program will provide beneficiaries with various eye treatments and surgeries.
The succinct description of the importance of the eye as the window to the mind by the founder of FEYReP, Her Excellency- Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel underscores the premium her organization places on the well-being of people in Akwa Ibom State. She pointed that FEYReP was a fulfilment of her lifelong passion of empowering the less privileged with skills and information that will enable them live successful lives. She opined that access to free medical care was key to impacting lives in our communities.
Consequently, the partnership with MTN was a result of months of engaging the partners to design a broad based eye restoration intervention program for people in Akwa Ibom State. She enjoined the people to take advantage of the unique opportunity to avail themselves of the services for the period.
His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo who applauded the efforts of Her Excellency and partners of the humanitarian project for initiating a program that will benefit majority of the less privileged.
Project Outcome: A total of fifteen thousand (15,000) persons were treated. Over 2000 medicated glasses were distributed and about 1,540 cataract surgeries were performed.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong in an interview affirmed that blindness or visual impairment limits a person's ability to be independent. It impedes the sufferers opportunity to contribute to the economy.
Dr. Mildred, the Consultant Ophthalmologist to the program reiterated the need for people to take advantage of the opportunities that will enable people improve their sights. She said that the EyeRIS project has helped highlight the need for social intervention in eye care especially for the less privileged.
The team observed that there were an alarming number of persons with Cataract and Glaucoma in Akwa Ibom State in comparison to other states the team had worked in.