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Korean Community Organises Free Eye Surgery For Lagos Residents

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Some 234 Nigerians on Friday became beneficiaries of a free-cataract surgery organised by the Korean community in its “ Vision Eye Care Mission’’ in Lagos.

The managing director of Daewoo Medical System, Cho Hong-Seon, said the programme was organised by the Korean community in Nigeria in conjunction with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja.

The five-day programme that started on November 9 and ended on November 13 had Dongae Kim leading nine other surgeons from Korea.

The Nigerian medical team was led by the head of Ophthalmology Department of LASUTH, Modupe Idris, and had three other ophthalmologists and six nurses.

Hong-Seon also explained the choice of Lagos for the free surgery exercise, especially for the available equipment at the hospital.

“When we wanted to choose a place in Nigeria, we considered two things, first was the importance of the medical community services in our community and needed assistance.

“We needed government assistance to prepare this project such as getting visas for the medical team, temporary medical licence and customs clearance for our medical equipment and security,” he explained.

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He said also that the Lagos hospital was chosen because it was determined that the equipment there was up to standard.

“I thought that the facility and manpower of the hospital should reach a certain level. Considering these two points, LASUTH was  the most proper hospital,” he stated.

Hong-Seon also disclosed that the cost of treatment for each patient stood at between $ 6,000 (N1.2 million) and $7,000 (N1.4 million).

He said that the Korean community provided one third of the funds and the Korean Electric Nigeria provided the rest, adding that, “most of the treatments we carried out in Nigeria are cases which should have been attended to early before they got to secondary level.”

The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Adewale Oke, said it was a rare privilege to have the medical team in the hospital, admitting it was the first time the hospital was conducting free eye surgery for patients.

Oke also commended the Korean community and other partners such as Korean Electric Power Nigeria and Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria for the partnership.

The beneficiaries of the project expressed their appreciation to the organisers for doing the operations free-of-charge.

Opeyemi Aina, a 62-year-old retired teacher, said that she had been suffering from the disease from 2013.

Another beneficiary, Ajoke Shebanjo, a 54-year-old petty trader, said the free surgery would remain the best thing that ever happened to her.

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