The Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) Eye Hospital, Abuja has served 34,000 persons with various eye problems since its inauguration a year ago.
At a press briefing to mark its 12 months of successful operations, Mr Sanjay Upadhyaya, the Director of Marketing of TCF Eye Hospital, said the bulk of the treatment was borne by the hospital at no cost to the patients.
He revealed that the hospital was working on an aggressive expansion programme to cover the entire country so that there will be no need for Nigerians to go abroad for eye care.
He said: “We are glad to announce the successful completion of one-year operations, having opened for services on 15 January 2019, and formally inaugurated by His Excellency, the President of Nigeria on 11th July 2019.
“The hospital has served more than 34,000 persons during its one year of existence. Operated in technical collaboration with globally renowned Aravind Eye Care System (AECS), and with professionals trained for more than 8 months at AECS facilities in India, the hospital has a capacity of 54 beds.
“The centre offers services for cataract surgery both SICS and using phacoemulsification technique, pterygium, glaucoma management including surgeries, pediatric ophthalmology and management of other conditions like diabetic retinopathy etc, and will soon add equipment to cater to other complex eye issues as well.
“About 60% to 70% of the services are provided free of any charge to marginalized communities, while for the rest the tariff is at a highly subsidized rate.
“Since the commencement of operations in January 2019, the hospital is glad to report that it has performed more than 700 highly subsidized eye surgeries, treated more than 20,000 outpatients at the hospital, conducted 96 rural eye camps at which it has screened more than 14,000 persons”, he explained.
Also speaking at the event, Kannan Narayanan, a management staff of the hospital said: “TCF eye Hospital was established with the generous support of the Kewalram Chanrai Foundation, Worldwide Healthcare, Enpee Group, Fareast Mercantile Ltd- Nigeria, the HB Chanrai Group of Companies and other donors.”
He added that the 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.
“We’ve performed over 3,000 surgeries and 2,400 of those were for poor and done free of charge.
“It’s free from pick up to drop. We go to neighbouring villages on a weekly outreach programme to pick the vulnerable ones. We feed them, house them, treat them and drop them back at their place. Our man objective is to provide quality free healthcare. We subsidize our services for those who can pay and free for those who can’t.
“We want it to run on its own so that it doesn’t depend on external support. We’re working towards it,” he stated.
Narayanan revealed that 90% of those calling at the hospital have cataract and glaucoma challenges.
He added that plans were afoot to add some more equipment so that the hospital can conduct 15,000 surgeries a year and 50% of them done free of charge.
He said Nigeria will save about $1 billion annually that is currently spent on offshore medical tourism when the hospital completes its expansion programme.
According to him, “eradicating curable blindness not only offers a person the gift of sight but more importantly, restores livelihood thereby immediately and favourably impacting economic output across the nation.
“It is estimated that a US $1 invested in eye-care produces a multifold effect on economic output,” he explained.