Latter-day Saints Offer Free Eye Screening and Surgeries

Latter-day Saints Offer Free Eye Screening and Surgeries

News Release

Over 3000 people have benefitted from the Free Eye Screening exercises organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Owoseni, New Benin, Benin City and Ejigbo, Lagos. The Church partnered with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin to provide the services in the Benin City exercise, and the Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja, provided services in Lagos. Both projects were sponsored by LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church.

 

Speaking on the rationale behind the exercise, the president of the Lagos Nigeria Egbeda stake (similar to a diocese), Mr. Sunday Adejuwon stated the biblical injunction of being our brothers’ keepers and following the example of the Saviour: “We are instructed by the Lord to be our brothers’ keepers, most especially the less-privileged in the society. This love in action is in line with the Saviour’s teaching.”

Representing Elder Frederick Akinbo of the Seventy, the president of the Benin City Nigeria New Benin stake (similar to diocese), speaking in the same vein said, “…the Church is simply carrying out the biblical injunction which advises the Christian to show love and care for the poor and the needy in the society irrespective of their religious inclination.”

Dr. Rita Momoh, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Public Eye Health Specialist and chairperson of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter, who led the team of 19 other doctors and medical personnel from the UBTH said, “We are happy to be associated with the LDS Charities, the sponsor of this eye expedition, who are providing this service to the society. The crowd is frightening but we are not overwhelmed. We are ready to attend to everybody as time will permit us.”

Also speaking in Benin City, Dr. Kayoma, a member of the medical team said, “I commend the Latter-day Saint church for this wonderful, wonderful gesture…bringing these services to indigent patients that we have in our communities. The patients are happy, the doctors are happy. The surgeries have been very successful because all the materials have been provided by the church.”

At the Lagos event, the leader of the medical team from Eye Foundation Hospital, Ikeja, Mrs. Halima Bogunjoko said, “We are glad to be called upon to partner with the Church to provide free eye screening and surgeries to the indigent members of the society. It is a bold step in the right direction considering the economic downturn of the country.” She called on people to always take care of their eyes, quoting Dr. Rodia Shodunke who said “…”the eye is the soul of the body”. She added, “We need to take care of them and visit the eye doctor at least once a year.”

About 1400 patients were attended to in Benin City with 42 undergoing cataract surgeries while others received free eyeglasses and eye medications. About 1600 persons were attended to in Lagos with 50 cataract and 5 glaucoma surgeries performed.

A beneficiary in Ejigbo, Lagos, Mrs. Sherifat Emiola said of the programme, “I never believed a church can open its doors to a non-Christian like me. Imagine undergoing a cataract surgery without paying anything…God bless you people.”

In Benin City, Mike Aideyan, also a beneficiary, expressing his feelings, said, “I really want to commend the organizers for a job well done, because in this Nigeria there’s nothing that goes for free. If you want to do a cataract surgery, the money is very big, but here in this church, you are doing it for free. I really want to commend them and I pray that wherever the finances comes from, that God should replenish it.”

The three-day programme was extended by a day in both Benin City and Lagos due to the high number of people in attendance requiring post-surgical attention.

In attendance at the event in Benin City were police officers from the New Benin Division, staff of the Edo State Ministry of Health, and some local chiefs. The Ejigbo, Lagos exercise was witnessed by representatives of the Oba of Ejigbo.

LDS Charities focuses on support programs that meet specific needs and encourage self-reliance, service and sustainability. It partners with other charitable organizations to help those in need.

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