Your Editorial, “Addressing Blindness in Nigeria,” published April 2, 2020 missed the work being done by Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) in Nigeria.
With a strong belief in caring capitalism and intention of giving back to the society, the Chanrai family established TCF in 1992. The vision of TCF is that “every Nigerian should have access to quality Primary Health Care, Safe Drinking Water and Eye Care”.
To realize the vision, the key thrust areas of TCF continues to be mission for primary health care, mission for water and mission for vision.
At TCF we believe that these interventions are critical change agents and they give people a sense of self-control over their lives.
The key objectives of mission for vision at TCF are:
Significantly contribute to the efforts of eliminating avoidable blindness in Nigeria; ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of quality eye care services to every Nigerian irrespective of socio-economic status, caste, creed and religion; increase local ophthalmic capacities through capacity building/ training of personnel; increase cataract surgical coverage.
As part of mission for vision, TCF aims to reduce avoidable blindness, predominantly cataract and glaucoma, among the rural poor of Nigeria by providing high quality free surgeries. Since inception, TCF has restored eyesight of more than 126,000+ blind eyes, and is performing more than 5,000 surgeries per annum through the eye centres established in partnership with two state governments (Kebbi and Cross River).
Earlier till 2015, TCF also carried out cataract surgeries in two other eye-centres in Yola and Katsina States which are now handed over to the respective governments.
In addressing the underlying key problems and to eliminate avoidable blindness in Nigeria, TCF has embarked on the journey of establishing a “Centre of Excellence” through a specialty eye hospital and ophthalmic institute in Abuja called the TCF Eye Hospital.
The TCF Eye hospital will scale up in a phased manner to provide comprehensive services including referrals and capacity building of local ophthalmic personnel not only for Nigeria, but for the whole of West Africa.
TCF Eye Hospital in Abuja is in operation since January 2019, aimed at providing comprehensive eye care services and build, nurture local ophthalmic resources. We are very glad to inform you that the hospital was officially commissioned by the President Buhari, Federal Republic of Nigeria on July 11, 2019.
We envisage to provide cataract surgeries free of cost with world class quality and precision to the poorest of the poor across Nigeria. The hospital is providing services to all economic sections of Nigeria and in the last one year of its operation we have done more than 3200 eye surgeries free of cost to the poor patients around Abuja. The hospital also caters to the population who can af ford treatment in Abuja.
––Sanjay Kumar Upadhyaya, Abuja