Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja, Ferdinand Ekechukwu in Lagos
President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation Eye Centre Hospital in Abuja recently.
The foundation aims to eradicate curable blindness in Nigeria as part of plans to favourably impact the economic outlook of the nation since a one-dollar investment in eye care produces multifold effect on economic output.
Speaking at a post-launch press conference in Abuja, the founder, Mr. Jagdish Chanrai said the foundation has provided quality eye services to over 6,400 out patients and performed over 1,000 eye surgeries, of which 850 have been free for the poor, since it commenced operation in January 2019.
He said that the modern eye care hospital was established as part of the foundation’s effort to eradicate curable blindness, while also offering a gift of sight to Nigerians.
He said around 60 per cent of its services would be provided free of charge to benefit the poor and marginalised communities, while the rest would be at a highly subsidised rate for those who can afford it, adding that the hospital was expected to be self-sustainable in about four years.
Chanrai noted that the hospital located at Kukwaba, Abuja, beside House on the Rock Church, with a state-of-the-art facility was the answer to a long felt need for excellence in eye health across Nigeria and West Africa.
The founder stressed that the hospital would adopt modern techniques to prevent blindness and various eye conditions, through hospital based and outreach services.
He stated: “Run largely by a Nigerian team of 30 eye professionals who have recently undergone intensive training in India, the facility will be managed by the globally renowned Aravind Eye Care System in India, the largest provider of quality eyecare in the world.
“The hospital commenced functioning in January 2019 and till date has provided quality eye services to over 6,400 out patients and performed over 1,000 eye surgeries, of which 850 have been free for the poor.
“When at full capacity, the state-of-the-art hospital will have the capability of performing around 15,000 surgeries per annum, with every effort to set the gold standard for eyecare across Africa.
“TCF Eye Hospital also aims to be the premier ophthalmic training institute in Nigeria for both clinical and non-clinical personnel to help eye-care in Nigeria evolve as a self-sustaining and thriving model, steered by Nigerian talent.”
He noted that TCF Eye Hospital was established with the support of the Kewalram Chanrai Foundation, Worldwide Healthcare, Enpee Group, Fareast Merchantile Ltd, Nigeria, the HB Chanrai Group of Companies and other donors.
He said the foundation will set up a project in each geo-political zone, while also training ophthalmologists.