President Bola Tinubu Revives ‘Jigi Bola’ Initiative, Partners to Provide Eyeglasses to 5 Million Nigerians

President Bola Tinubu Revives ‘Jigi Bola’ Initiative, Partners to Provide Eyeglasses to 5 Million Nigerians

Latiifah Amusan

 

In a significant move to combat preventable blindness and enhance access to vision care, President Bola Tinubu has thrown his support behind a groundbreaking partnership aimed at providing eyeglasses to five million Nigerians.

This initiative marks a relaunch of ‘Jigi Bola,’ a pet project initiated by Tinubu during his tenure as the governor of Lagos State.

The ‘Jigi Bola’ eye programme, first introduced in 2001, sought to address preventable blindness and ensure eye care access for impoverished individuals.

It was executed in phases, commencing with a successful pilot phase that screened over 100,000 people and distributed free eyeglasses to more than 20,000 beneficiaries.

Subsequently, the program expanded its reach to encompass all 20 local government areas within Lagos State.

The revitalization of the ‘Jigi Bola’ eye programme occurred in 2021 under the leadership of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the re-elected governor of Lagos State.

However, its impact and scope have now grown significantly with the endorsement of President Tinubu.

President Tinubu formally endorsed a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Health’s National Eye Health Programme and the Peek Vision Foundation.

This partnership aims to distribute over five million pairs of eyeglasses to Nigerians experiencing sight impairments.

“We must act now because sight and vision are critical to economic development and growth,” President Tinubu emphasized, expressing his concern for the more than 24 million Nigerians dealing with various degrees of vision impairments.

He pledged his support for the initiative and encouraged further mobilization to ensure its success.

The President’s personal connection to the cause was evident as he shared a touching story about his mother, who had benefited from vision care:

“My first experience was with my mother of blessed memory. She was ill, and she could not recognize me. When I intervened, she was treated and given a pair of glasses. She next asked me: I have you, and you can do this for me. What about those other women and their children who may not have somebody like you to intervene for them?”

The initiative’s relaunch event witnessed the presentation of the first national policy document on eye health to President Tinubu by Mohammed Ali Pate, the coordinating minister of Health and Social Welfare.

This policy seeks to expand existing eye healthcare services and establish a sustainable approach for equitable access to quality eye care within Nigeria’s healthcare system.

The policy sets a framework for collective efforts to scale up eye care services across all levels of healthcare provision.

It also facilitates collaboration among stakeholders to drive development in eye care and enhance competent leadership in integrated eye healthcare.

Under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Eye Health Programme (NEHP), the National Eye Health Policy 2019 will be disseminated nationwide, with states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) adopting its principles and objectives. 

editor

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d