President Muhammadu Buhari is set to commission the Tulsi Chanrai Foundation (TCF) – Eye Hospital in Abuja, expected to curb medical tourism to India, where most Nigerians often seek various medical attention, with estimated spending of about $1 billion annually.
The commissioning is also expected to improve healthcare opportunities for complicated eye patients at a subsidised rate instead of seeking such health services outside the country, the Foundation managers say.
At a pre-event press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, Jagdish Charai, founder and trustee of the Foundation, informs that eradicating curable blindness not only offers a person the gift of sight but also, more importantly, restores livelihood thereby immediately and favourably impacting economic output across the nation.
“It is estimated that a $1 billion invested in eye-care produces multi-fold effect on economic output,” according to Charai.
According to the CEO, the state-of-the-art eye hospital provides an answer to a long felt need for excellence in eye health across Nigeria and West Africa.
He states that the hospital will adopt modern techniques to prevent blindness and treat various eye conditions through hospital-based and outreach activities.
On the level of subsidy provided by the hospital in its health services, Charai said: “Around 60% of its services will be provided free of charge to benefit the poor and marginalised communities, while the rest will be at highly subsidised for those who can afford. The hospital is expected to be self-sustaining in about 4 years time.”
The hospital, it would be noted, is used largely by a Nigerian team of 30 eye professionals who have recently undergone intensive training in India.
The globally renowned Aravind Eye Care System of India, the largest provider of quality eye-care in the world, will manage the facility the CEO notes further.
The hospital started functioning in January 2019 and till date has provided quality eye services to over 6,400 out patients and performed over 1,000 eye surgeries, of which 850 have been free for the poor.