Babalakin Offers Free Eye Treatment to Patients in Kaduna

BabalakinA Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Ramatu Ibironke Babalakin Foundation, has offered free eye screening and surgery for over 10,000 Nigerians afflicted with Cataract and Pterygium, as well as distributed spectacles to patients in Zaria, Kaduna State.

A team of dedicated doctors with expertise to treat eye problems, arrived the state ten days ago, for the exercise which was held at the palace of the Emir of Zazzau.

Young children, women and the aged all trooped out in large numbers to benefit from the philanthropy.

The free eye treatment which was sponsored by the Foundation was in commemoration of the 40 years anniversary of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, on the throne.

The Founder of the NGO, Dr. Wale Babalakin, while presenting eye glasses to some of the patients who have been operated upon, said that the gesture, asides being for the celebration of the Emir’s 40th year on the throne, was also in remembrance of his mother who was born in the ancient city of Zaria.

Having traveled far and wide, interacting with various organizations abroad and also worried over the high rate of blindness in Nigeria, Dr Wale Babalakin saw the need to offer this eye service to Nigerians irrespective of their tribe or religion.

Dr Babalakin said blindness is a major health disaster and urged Nigerians to come out in mass to benefit from the exercise.

He also promised to assist the people of Zaria in other areas of infrastructural and human development, aimed at touching the lives of the people positively.

In his remarks, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris commended Mr Babalakin for his tireless efforts towards assisting humanity and prayed that God will continue to assist and uplift him.

Cataract and Pterygium surgeries cost N100.000 to N150, 000 respectively in private hospitals. The Founder disclosed that similar exercise took place in Osun State, his home town, where over 4,000 patients benefited from the exercise.

Nigeria Society for the Blind:50 years of existence

 with the main objective of retraining and giving hope to visually handicapped adolescents and adults in Nigeria. These are a class of people who through unfortunate circumstances go blind later in life and therefore need rehabilitating with the support of philanthropists, corporate organizations, religious bodies, etc. We have no subvention of any kind from either State or Federal Government.

The Society established the Vocational Training Centre for the Blind at Oshodi in Lagos in 1956. Since then, the Centre has trained over 2000 blind men and women to acquire skills in Braille Writing and Reading, Typewriting, Handicrafts, Telephone Switchboard Operation, Computer Operation, Mobility Skills, Tie and Dye and various Crafts necessary for job placement in Industry or for self-employment. With its dedicated and caring staff, the VTC is a trailblazer in constantly seeking ways to give our students the most modern education and skills to equip them for the world.

Every part of the VTC curriculum is designed to address goals that will help each student gain confidence and make the transition to living a life of their own.

Although proud of what has been achieved, the NSB realises that improvement must be continuous. Therefore in 2009, we started the construction of a bigger workshop which will accommodate more vocational activities for our visually impaired students’ training. The current estimate is about N50 million (Fifty Million Naira). From initial donations and internally generated efforts, we have so far expended the sum of N20million (Twenty Million Naira) to raise the construction to the roofing level.
The NSB’s internal fundraising activities are the May Ball, Students Inter-House Sports, White Cane Day, Christmas Carol of Nine Lesson and Graduation Ceremony. The major one is our annual “May Ball” which holds on 26th May 2012. We are proud that it has held regularly for over 45 years and serve the purpose of:

* Raising funds for the activities of the Society

* Recognizing and thanking our sponsors and benefactors for their support over the years

* Publising the Nigeria Society for the Blind and her supporters

* Showcasing our students and their abilities.

The funds are raised primarily for the execution of the following:-

– Projects and Capital items

– Renovation and furbishing of staff quarters, Library building, class rooms and

Administrative block

– Monthly running costs

– Financial support for staff and students sponsorship

– Assistive Technological Equipment.