Seplat Energy’s “Eye Can See” project provides superior eye treatment to residents in the host societies. The goal is to avoid permanent vision loss, provide reading glasses for free, and also treat different eye disorders. So far, 86,226 individuals have been screened, with 38,555 glasses dispensed, along with 3,757 eye operations have been completed.

On May 24th and 25th, 2022, in  the city of Benin, Seplat Energy Plc, who are a leading energy company, started off its own “Eye Can See” healthcare program, which is a Seplat and NPDC JV (Join Venture) effort to provide eye care services for free, for the people of the community and improve living conditions.

This initiative is Seplat Energy’s hallmark CSR health program aimed to provide excellent eye care to the  people of Seplat’s local community, prevent and mitigate permanent vision loss, provide free glasses, and also treat various eye-related diseases.

This Seplat initiative has screened 86,226 people, dispensed 38,555 spectacles, and successfully completed over 3,757 eye procedures.

0.5 million Africans are blind from glaucoma. Most health ministries prioritize Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS,  and malaria, hence eye care receives less to no funds.

 Amel Meddeb-Ouertani, who is the Executive VP for Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology, claimed in her paper that Africa happens to be the world’s poorest region: half the population lives on less than a dollar a day. Millions lack health care, and much less than one fourth of the people receive regular eye treatment. In such a milieu amid abject poverty, many people prioritize survival over health treatment.

Ophthalmic care is tied to overall health and economic growth. This is because healthy people happen to be more productive and will contribute more, and care more about themselves.

Glaucoma happens to be the leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide, especially in Africa, said Amel Meddeb-Ouertani.

Professional organizations, ophthalmological associations, advocacy groups, civil societies as well as NGOs must influence health ministries. They must lobby pharmaceutical and technology businesses to make inexpensive equipment and treatments for Africans. Africa can’t afford expensive drugs. (WTO) TRIPS has key flexibilities for accessing pharmaceuticals.  Pharmaceutical businesses can help by offering differential pricing, when pharmaceuticals are sold near cost. Donors should provide health R&D incentives for Africa. Long-term viability requires viable marketplaces.

Thus, an initiative on a global level encompassing all partners would make a difference, as Seplat Energy  has done with its program.

On May 25, 2022, the program’s inauguration ceremony was conducted near the fortress of Oba Ewuare II which is in Benin City.

Free eye treatment, which began the day before, is being prolonged to 13 rural centers in Edo as well as Delta states through June 13th and 14th, 2022.

Patients with critical cases who arrived early for this program have had successful procedures and restored good vision. Free healthcare recipients get drugs and spectacles.

As the plaster was cut away from the operated eyes and their eyesight was returned, the patients rejoiced.

Many people who came for free eye care were brought through a meticulously structured process, commencing with profiling, vital signs, and blood sugar tests, before their eyes were examined and them being given spectacles as well as medicine. 

Dr. Chioma Nwachuku, who is Seplat Energy’s Director of Sustainability and External Affairs, said the initiative targets children, women and men with disorders of the eye. 

Seplat plans to provide free eye treatment for all levels of community members, reduce and prevent instances of perpetual visual loss, distribute free glasses for reading along with treating different other eye problems, educate the patients on eye care and the ways and means of glaucoma detection, and advise patients on changes in lifestyle for the reduction of Hypertension & Diabetes.

 Doctor. Nwachuku, represented by Seplat Energy’s Otokhine Emmanuel, announced that this was indeed a signature program of Seplat’s to bring smiles to members of the host community.

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