OrderPaperToday – Senator representing Kogi East Senatorial District, on Tuesday, called on the Federal Government to establish a Federal Eye Clinic in Ochadamu, Kogi State.
Senator Isa Jibrin, Sponsor of the bill, made the demand during a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) on a bill seeking to establish a Federal Eye Centre in Ochadamu.
The Bill is titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Eye Centre, Ochadamu, to Take Over Staff Assets And Liabilities of the Holley Memorial Hospital Ochadamu, Kogi State, for the Prevention And Cure of Eye Defects and Diseases and to Establish a Board to Govern the Center and an Academic Committee, to take Charge of the Centre’s Academic Affairs, and for Related Matters.
“The study found cataract as the most common cause of severe visual impairment and blindness, being responsible for about 45.3% and 43.0°o respectively.”
In making case for the centre, he explained that the centrality of the proposed Centre to the overall health of the citizens is underscored by a recent study on visual challenges in Kogi State.
According to him, the study found that 128,000 citizens have severe visual disorders, and about 8,500 are blind.
“The Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu, which is a missionary hospital, was founded in 1948 in response to the needs of those suffering from leprosy. Subsequently, eye care became an integral part of the Hospital due to the prevalence of eye diseases and related complications in the area.
“The eye care that was introduced into the programme of the hospital is the major eye centre in Kogi East, rendering services to patients within the State and neighbouring States.
“However, this Hospital is faced with a myriad of challenges such as shortage of ward accommodation, insufficient clinical area, under-equipped theater, and power challenges, underscoring the need for a standby 100K VA generator and a 500K VA electric transformer to be connected to national grid.
The Kogi lawmaker added that the proposed Centre will afford an opportunity for early detection and treatment for eye conditions, including age-related mascular degeneration which is important and cost-effective.
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Jibrin further emphasised that the basic structures and facilities for the takeoff of the Centre are already in place at the current Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu. Hence, only an upgrade of the facilities would be needed for full specialised operations of the Centre.
In supporting the bill, Senator Yakubu Oseni (APC, Kogi Central) urged all to wholeheartedly support the establishment of the eye centre as it would also be of great benefit to neighbouring States.
On his part, Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West) stated that the manpower needed for the effective take operations of the centre is in abundant supply. A member of the lower house, David Idris Zacharias (APC, Kogi), noted that a federal eye centre in the state would address the issue of unemployment.
Traditional ruler, Akwu Obaje, who also spoke in support of the bill, stated that an upgrade to the Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu was long overdue.