Residents of the three local government areas that make up Warri Federal Constituency in Delta State will in the five days benefit from free eye medical treatment courtesy of 05 Initiative in collaboration with Restore Sight Africa Initiative and the state Ministry of Health.
Wife of the Delta State governor, Dame Edith Okowa and founder of 05 Initiative on Wednesday flagged off the five-day health programme tagged “Free Grassroots Medical Outreach”, with the beneficiaries drawn from Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North Council Areas of the state.
Speaking at the flag-off of the programme at the Central Hospital, Warri, the Delta First Lady said the outreach which will run from Wednesday 16th to Sunday 20th March 2022, at the hospital targets thousands of residents including school children living with various sight challenges across the state.
Dame Okowa urged residents of the three council areas to advantage of the outreach to rectify any form of eye problem adding that during the period of the programme, free eye testing, treatment and glasses would be issued to patients.
According to her, school children would be given priority during the programme to ensure that their eye defects are corrected saying she was moved to continue with the free eye treatment following success stories recorded from the first and second phases of the scheme.
Dame Okowa stressed that it was her desire to ensure through the programme to eradicate blindness and other eye challenges, especially among children.
According to her, the outreach will continue throughout the ten federal constituencies across the state.
“Four years ago precisely in 2018, the O5 Initiative in partnership with Restore Sight Africa and the State Ministry of health sailed out with the good news of Free Eyecare round the 25LGAs and in 2021; we went round the three Senatorial Districts. Everyone that came with a challenge now has a testimony, we are still celebrating the victories recorded; this can only be God at work through the hands of the Doctors, may His name be praised forever Amen.
“To large extent, blindness has ravaged a lot of people irrespective of gender, especially in the rural areas, depriving them of the beauties of life. The eyes are the most treasured sense and the light of the body, it is also the window to the world therefore we must keep it healthy.
“It is true that we have gone round the state in different capacity but there is still need to reach out once again so that Deltans can enjoy life to its fullest. To this end, I say that blindness will soon become history among our folks in Jesus’s name.
“Due to the success recorded in the second phase where 4,304 patients were seen, 497 surgeries were done, 3,030 eyeglasses given and 1,998 eye drops were dispensed; this third phase promises a lot more. Provision has been made for COVID 19 tests as well as free eye screening, free eye Surgery, distribution of free reading glasses and free eye drops.
“The need for every Deltan to be healthy and benefit from the Prosperity Agenda is of utmost importance even as this administration rounds off soon, no one will be left behind”, she stated.
She commended the Coordinator of Restore Sight Africa Initiative, Dr Ernest Ogbedo and his team for supporting the programme.
The Governor’s wife also charged beneficiaries and Deltans to be close to God while prioritising their health, stressing that it was good for everyone to pursue their salvation through Jesus Christ.
Also speaking, Coordinator, Restore Sight Africa Initiative, Dr Ogbedo, commended the Delta First Lady for her commitment towards bringing succour to the people of the state through her 05 Initiative.
Ogbedo noted that through the scheme many Deltans without resources to cater for their eyes were now sharing the testimony of “I can now see”.
Similarly in his welcome address, the chairman of Warri South, Dr Michael Tidi, who spoke on behalf of the three Warri council chairmen, thanked the wife of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the choice of Warri for the flag-off of the programme.
Tidi assured Mrs Okowa that he would mobilise residents of Warri to take advantage of the programme to ensure that their eye defects are corrected through the free medical outreach.
“What we are witnessing today, and the level of impact the 05 Initiative has had is only made possible by an uncommon vision which is fueled by the passion to impact humanity.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the seamless execution of the five-fold agenda of the 05 Initiative and the massive impact in the 25 Local Governments are simply amazing. When you look at the army of beneficiaries of the Free Eye Treatment alone, you can imagine what would have been if this Initiative hadn’t come to their rescue.
“I salute the visioner, the initiator and founder of the 05 Initiative, Her Excellency, Dame Edith Okowa for bringing succour to our people. I commend the energy and drive that has kept the programme going since 2015.
“I appreciate all the partners that have, and are still collaborating with the Initiative. And not forgetting the amazing 05 Initiative team that has shown so much zeal in the discharge of their assignment”, the Warri South chairman added.
The event also featured health talks by health practitioners who enjoined people of the state, especially women to prioritized their wellbeing through regular checkups to guide against growing diseases such as cervical cancer.
Mrs Okowa was accompanied to the flag-off by the wife of the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mrs Tobore Oborevwori; wife of the Chief of Staff to Governor Okowa and Coordinator of 05 Initiative, Mrs Kevwe Agas; Chairmen of Warri South and Warri South-West, Dr Tidi and Hon. Taiye Tuoyo and wife of commissioners in the state.