Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Following a surgery for what was diagnosed as cataract, a 24-year-old Adamawa man, Edmond Eli, saw his father for the first time in 21 years of poverty induced blindness at his local town of Kpasham, in Demsa local government area.
Edmond was among the lucky one hundred and sixty two beneficiaries of cataract eye surgeries made available to them as a result of a free medical outreach organised by the senator representing southern Adamawa, Binos Dauda Yeroe.
Related: Day of joy for the blind
24-year-old Edmond travelled several kilometres with his family to the health center in Demsa to try their luck in the five-day medical outreach.
Narrating his family’s ordeal, Eli Humoshe, Edmond’s father said, “The problem started when he was just 3-years-old. Since then it has been so tough for my family until yesterday when help came.”
“He was playing one day with his mates when suddenly we heard a shout and when we went to pick him, we immediately noticed that there was something wrong with his eyes,” Eli told Daily Sun about when the family first noticed Edmond’s condition.
“He told us then that one of the boys he was playing with had poured some sand into his eyes.
“We washed off his eyes and applied some eye drops to it but after some days we realised the problem was still there. We then went to the local clinic, then the Numan hospital, then Yola specialist hospital; ut our boy could still not see again,” Eli narrated.
“He was three then. The doctors had refered us to a hospital in Kano, but we tried all we could to mobilise resources from family and friends who had helped us before to visit other hospitals but we could not. So, our son Edmond has been blind since then for twenty one years.
“So, when we heard about this medical outreach we decided we would be here to see the doctors; maybe we would get help.
“So, on the 14th of August, 2019, he was operated on for one of the eyes and on the 16th of August, 2019, they operated on the other eye and, miraculously, he can see.
“This is a big miracle and a relief for my life and that of my family. We have not been able to do anything for him or take him to school, but that possibility has just opened up for him.
“We would look for where to get an adult education for him and do our best to help him.
“If this medical outreach was to be paid for, I would not even think about coming here because where would I and my family get the money for this treatment; but thanks to Senator Binos, now Edmond can see, we are so grateful.”
The head of the team of medical outreach, Dr Wycliffe Dar, explaining the success and the daunting challenges of the medical outreach said, “In the cause of this outreach, we have succeeded in offering a consultation service to about eight thousand and thirty patients within the past five days.
“For the general surgery, we have operated on over two hundred patients and still counting because there some ongoing in the theatre.
“We have performed about 764 laboratory services, about one thousand and nine general eye care services, about four hundred glasses were issued to people here.”
Dar explained that the team had experienced challenges with cases whose diagnosis were not certain and had to be refered to the Federal Medical Centre.
Meanwhile, Senator Binos Dauda Yeroe, speaking on the success of the outreach, said “We have more than achieved our target.
“We earlier planned to reach eight thousand people, but we have reached more than that; the statistics that I have shows that.
Speaking on long term plans, the sponsoring senator said: “We are planning for a bigger outreach and to make the medical outreach an annual event and, if possible, twice a year.
“The joy on our people’s faces, their families and relatives, has justified the outreach which was just a test run.”
The team leader of Christian Broadcasting Network, Elisha Dokyoung, could not hide his excitement when he said, “the outreach was overwhelming as well as fulfilling. If it was that Edmond could [be able to] see that we were here, it is still very fulfilling.”