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Eye patients laud Bello, testify to miracles at Tulsi Chanrai hospital Abuja

27th Jan, 2020 | By Felix Durumbah | ||

Two beneficiaries of free eye treatment at the newly-opened Tulsi Chanrai eye hospital, Kakwaba, Abuja have applauded the initiative of cost-free treatment for indigent persons at the privately-run health facility. Furthermore, they lauded what they called ''the outstanding thinking by the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, in granting land to promoters of the hospital to build such noble-minded facility'' even as they called for more of such projects in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari personally commissioned the hospital in July last year. The beneficiaries, Mallam Muhammad Idris, who lives in Suleija, Niger State, and Mallam Yusuf Ndako, who lives in Sabon Wuse, spoke to a select group of journalists who were conducted round the specialist health facility as part of activities marking one year of operations of the hospital.

Both senior citizens were effusive in praising the hospital's promoters, the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) owned by billionaire Indian family Chanrai which has a global network. Fielding questions from journalists, Mallam Idris said through an interpreter: ''I had eye problems which nearly rendered me blind as I could hardly see. I had surgery on my first eye in this hospital and was satisfied with my sight thereafter, so I came for another surgery on the second eye.''

Asked how much he was charged for surgery and any other treatment he received at the facility, he said: ''wallahi, I paid no kobo. In fact, the hospital brought a vehicle which conveyed me and others free of cost from my village. They accommodated me in the hospital during the pre-surgery and post-surgery periods, giving me quality food all the time, did the surgery and other attention, all at no cost to me. Their vehicle also returned me to my house in my village. I did not ever know any facility offering this sort of charity service exists anywhere in Nigeria.

''I bless President Buhari for encouraging this sort of initiative and I thank most sincerely the FCT Minister as I understand he was the one who gave these people the land to build this facility which is saving our sights, making us continue to be usefully productive to our families and society again.'' For his part, Mallam Ndako, who said he hails from Kogi State, described himself as a subsistence farmer. According to him, during farming activities plenty of dust participles often assail his eyes, causing him to begin to lose his sight progressively.

He added: ''I have had eye problem for about 20 years now. I have been to many hospitals across Nigeria because of this my eye problem because I need to see to be able to take care of my family. I went as far as a reputable eye hospital in far- away Enugu, all to no avail. My sight instead got worse and worse. That was until I learnt of this hospital when their officials came for a village outreach in my locality. Today, my story is very different.''

Journalists saw many patients, some inside the wards with bandage over one or the other of their eyes, fresh out of the surgical table. Sundry state-of-the-art equipment dotted many parts of the hospital with courteous, smiling Nigerian and Asian staff tending to issues. Addressing newsmen later, Director of Chanrai Group and Advisor to TCF, Mr. Kannan Narayanan, who was flanked by top shots of the conglomerate, traced the history of Chanrai's involvement in Nigeria to about 100 years. According to him, the patriarch of Chanrai Group globally is renowned for giving back to society through what he described as 'charity capitalism'. According to Mr. Narayanan, what TCF does is get rich patients to pay to subsidize free treatment for the poor who are in the majority.

The director said the hospital handles all sorts of treatment for cataract, glaucoma and other eye ailments which routinely defy treatment elsewhere, stressing that the hospital does this competently due to its affiliation with one of the best eye care firms in Europe, Aravind Eye Care Systems. According to him, thousands of cases of eye challenges have been handled and corrected by TCF, revealing that with the success of the Abuja hospital, similar facilities will be opened across Nigeria in the future.

The director also said that the hospital's parent body is involved in providing water, borewells and other basic utilities in hundreds of rural communities in Nigeria, hence touching lives. He thanked President Buhari and FCT Minister Bello for their support for the health facility in Abuja and enjoined both rich and poor to equally visit the hospital. Among officials of the hospital at the media briefing were the Director of Marketing, Mr. Sanjay Upadhyaya, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Dora Salihu, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Dr. Deepak Kumar.

News Update

The lingering land dispute between the Nigerian Army and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) original inhabitants will be resolved amicably by the highest authorities, FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has assured.

Apparently moved by the spirit of being one's brother's keeper, the body said it took the action ''to support the needy and the poor following the FG's lockdown order'' which has kept FCT residents indoors till 14 April, 2020.

The Minister visited the Idu train facility training center which is being outfitted to accommodate 300 beds to be used as an isolation and treatment center, the Asokoro Hospital, the Karu General Hospital and the road leading to the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Gaduwa, Abuja.

Sequel to the new guidelines on operations of markets issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has directed the Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) to ensure compliance with the new template.


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