10-day humanitarian mission to city of Katsina prompts calls for additional such initiatives in the African nation
RIYADH, March 5 (CIC) – Five Saudi ophthalmologists, who accompanied a Saudi medical convoy to Nigeria last month, performed 515 free eye surgeries in just one week during their mission to the African nation. The medical camp, held in the northern Nigerian city of Katsina from February 20 to March 2, was organised in cooperation with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.
Dr Said Al Wedaani, an assistant professor at King Saud University’s Faculty of Medicine and a member of the team, said that the initial plan called for conducting around 400 surgeries, but that the team decided to do more – despite a lack of resources – in the face of the overwhelming response from the local population.
The five doctors – Samir Al Mansouri, Ra’id Al Umair, Saeed Al Qahtani, Omar Al Abbasi and Said Al Wadaani – operated on impoverished patients whose blindness resulted from a lack of care stemming from insufficient means and resources. The doctors said they tended to patients from 7am to 8pm each day the camp was in operation, examining the patients, operating on them and counselling them on post-operative care.
The Saudi humanitarian gesture was applauded on social media, with commenters calling for similar camps in other parts of Nigeria, as well as in Saudi Arabia.