First City Monument Bank (FCMB), in collaboration with the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF), has provided free corrective eye surgery to 350,000 Nigerians across the country. Under the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, tagged Priceless Gift of Sight, the beneficiaries have benefited from free testing, optical services, surgeries, free glasses, and eye impairment care. This has cut across Cross River, Ogun, Kebbi, Imo, Abuja, Katsina, and Adamawa, among other states. A beneficiary of a free eye surgery, Stephen Oyedokun expressed deep gratitude and warm praise to FCMB and TCF.
Oyedokun, explained that he had been wearing glasses for years before he found out about the program. Eventually, his eyesight began to blur unexpectedly, making it more difficult for him to go about his normal activities. Subsequently, he regained his sight after an examination at the hospital and a successful surgery which he said cost him nothing. Once again, he praised FCMB and the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation for their work with the Priceless Gift of Sight initiative and for giving individuals the privilege to regain their sight.
The intervention is aimed at treating cataracts and other eye impairments.
Helen Simon, another beneficiary of the initiative, expressed appreciation to FCMB for helping her regain her sight thus allowing her to move forward with her life. Simon explained that she had a debilitating eye condition and was losing hope until a neighbour informed her about the Priceless Gift of Sight initiative. The annual intervention, established by FCMB in 2009, is aimed at treating cataracts and other eye impairments that might lead to blindness among underprivileged adults and children in various communities around Nigeria.
Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, an implementing partner of First City Monument Bank, is a leading non-governmental organization dedicated to improving accessibility to healthcare and provision of medical expenses in underserved regions of Nigeria. The three main focuses of TCF are the restoration of sight, the provision of basic health care, and the provision of clean water. Arun Blasi, administrator of TCF Eye Hospital in Abuja, says the company’s fourteen-year partnership with FCMB has helped thousands of patients. Blasi, said that with the Bank’s support, the organization had treated over 30,000 people and had completed 20,000 successful eye surgeries.
Patients incur zero expenses from testing, surgery to discharge.
The TCF Administrator acknowledges FCMB’s dedication to improving people’s lives and encourages the bank to maintain its longstanding commitment to the TCF. According to Blasi, the nonprofit conducts outreach eye screenings in different areas around Nigeria. Patients with eye impairments are transported and admitted for further testing and surgery for two to three days. The Foundation takes care of all of their medical requirements, including food, during this time. Patients incur zero out-of-pocket expenses from pre-op testing and surgery through discharge and return transportation.
Ladi Balogun, CEO of FCMB Group, emphasized that blindness is a disability that often results in a loss of income and severe poverty. This is because being blind makes it difficult to move about, which in turn increases feelings of loneliness, lowers mental health, and restricts access to resources. As a result, he advocated for more effective campaigning and the inclusion of eye care in national healthcare programs. Yemisi Edun, managing director of FCMB avers that over a million Nigerian people are visually impaired. She noted that the Priceless Gift of Sight was founded out of a commitment to lessen the number of people becoming blind due to a lack of access to eye care.
Around 17,000 Nigerians were able to regain their sight after surgery.
In partnership, FCMB and TCF have offered free eye surgery, tests, and glasses to more than 300,000 people in Nigeria. Around 17,000 Nigerians who were blind before surgery were able to regain their sight, while the remainder had their eyes examined for different problems and were given corrective lenses or spectacles. Awareness of the scope of the cataract crisis in Nigeria has also been increased owing to the FCMB Priceless Gift of Sight project.