First City Monument Bank (FCMB), in partnership with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) of India, has so far carried out free eye surgeries, correctional testing services and provided glasses to over 300,000 Nigerians under the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, tagged Priceless Gift of Sight. Out of this number, the sight of almost 17,000 visually impaired Nigerians have been restored through surgeries, while the rest underwent tests to correct various eye defects and also received glasses. The yearly intervention, which started in 2009, is designed to combat cataracts and other eye defects that could lead to blindness among underprivileged adults and children across various communities in Nigeria. FCMB has sustained this programme for 12 consecutive years (2009 till date) by offering free testing, surgeries and glasses in partnership with TCF in Kebbi, Cross River, Imo, Abuja, Katsina and Adamawa.
The FCMB Priceless Gift of Sight initiative has also raised awareness on the magnitude of the problems associated with cataract in Nigeria. The Bank’s support to address the problem has gone a long way to improve the socio-economic well-being of the over 300,000 beneficiaries and their respective families. In addition, the programme serves as an avenue for indigenous medical and para-medical personnel to build their capacity through the training offered by the team of doctors provided by TCF that conducts the exercise.
The surgeries involve treatment of cataract with inter-ocular lens implantation to those who would otherwise be unable to access quality and affordable surgeries. Modern surgical techniques, using state of the art equipment, are in use in all the designated hospitals.
The exercise also includes, screening of patients by trained para-medical staff in the communities, transporting patients to the hospitals, full ophthalmic and medical examination of patients prior to surgery and the eventual surgery performed by the surgeons.Other measures put in place by FCMB and the Foundation are admission of screened patients for between 2 and 3 days before surgery, observation of the patients for at least 24 hours post surgery, check-up on patients within six weeks after the surgery in their respective communities, and random post operative audit by independent ophthalmologists to confirm the efficiency of the surgery and state of health of the beneficiaries.