Lagos: January 15, 2013 - First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) in collaboration with Tulsi Chanrai Foundation will on Tuesday, January 22 resume free eye treatment to visually impaired Nigerians in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State.

The intervention which is part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme tagged Priceless Gift of Sight is aimed at providing free eye surgeries across the geographical areas of Nigeria to combat cataracts and reduce avoidable  blindness. Surgeries commenced December 1, 2012 in the designated centre in Calabar and will run all through February 2013. So far, over 200 patients have received treatment while another 400 will benefit from the ongoing activity.

“For four years running (2009 – 2012), the intervention has provided free eye surgeries to combat cataracts and reduce avoidable blindness to underprivileged adults and children in selected communities across the country. More than 8,500 lucky Nigerians including 5,000 children have benefited from the programme” Ikechukwu Kalu, FCMB’s Group Head, Marketing and Communications said.

He further said that similar treatment had been offered to patients in five designated centres in Calabar, Yola in Adamawa State, Brinin-Kebbi, Kebbi State, Owerri, Imo State and Abuja. Treatment is performed free of charge while real time training of local personnel is provided to facilitate capacity building and sustainability.

The surgeries focus on surgical treatment of cataract with inter-ocular lens implantation to those who would otherwise be unable to access quality surgeries. Modern surgical techniques and state of the art equipments are used in all the hospitals, while Tulsi Chanrai Foundation ensures maximum utilization of existing government infrastructure thus saving unnecessary duplication and expense.

Over the years, FCMB has actively invested in different communities across the country and would continue to do so in the three critical areas of Poverty Alleviation, Economic Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability which have been carefully chosen to reach a larger proportion of Nigerian communities.

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