The initiative is happening under the MTN Foundation Eyesight Restoration Intervention Scheme (MTNF EyeRIS). Through this initiative that commenced on January 11 and will end January 30, 2016, there will be 2,000 cataract surgeries, distribution of 2,000 pairs of glasses and 2,000 drug packs to people with various eye problems for free.
The opening ceremony of the event held at the state capital, Uyo, had in attendance the deputy governor of the state, Moses Ekpo; Wife of the State Governor, Martha Edom Emmanuel; Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong; MTN Foundation Executive Secretary, Nonny Ugboma; Chief Enterprise Solution Officer, MTN Nigeria, Frederick Udoaka; Company Secretary, MTN Nigeria, Uto Ukpanah and Dr. Onyesse Obinna of Eye Foundation.
The MTNF EyeRIS is aimed at curbing preventable blindness in Nigeria by conducting free cataract surgeries and providing free reading glasses and drug packs to Nigerians.
In phase 1, in partnership with respective State Governments, more than 34,000 patients in 6 States (Abia. Delta, Jigawa, Niger, Osun, & Sokoto) benefitted from the project, made up of 10,610 cataract operations and distribution of 11,946 pairs of glasses and 11,808 drug packs.
In phase 2, Akwa-Ibom, Ekiti, Kwara, Imo, Ogun, and Ondo States have been selected for the project. Working with the various State Governments, the intervention has been successfully completed in Ogun, Imo, Ondo and Kwara States where 7,158 cataract surgeries were performed, 8,000 pairs of glasses and 8,000 drug packs distributed.