Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, re-launched the Jigi-Bola Free Sight and Hearing Aid Programme conceived 20 years ago and implemented during the tenure of former governor Bola Tinubu.
The Jigi-Bola initiative was conceived as an innovation to improve the vision of Lagosians who were visually impaired, as well as borne out of the concern to reduce the negative effect of preventable visual impairment on residents of the state.
Speaking during the ceremony at Police College, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu, said the re-launch of the Jigi-Bola initiative signals the commitment of the administration towards improving the wellbeing and welfare of Lagosians.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, said: “Twenty years ago, our visionary, insightful and inspiring leader, Tinubu, out of genuine concern for the wellbeing of Lagosians, conceived an initiative to address the issue of growing preventable visual impairment among Lagosians.
“This initiative, which was named Jigi-Bola, under the Blindness Prevention Programme, offered free eye screening, free eye glasses and free surgical operations. Thousands of Lagosians who would have lost their sight as a result of inadequate awareness and lack of financial means benefitted from this very laudable programme.”
He said the re-launch of the initiative was in celebration of one of the many legacy grassroots outreach programmes of Tinubu’s administration, and also a clear testament of the determination of the present administration to priorities all aspects of healthcare delivery.
“I am pleased to announce that our administration has taken a step further with the Jigi-Bola initiative by broadening its scope to include a hearing aid programme, which will cater to the needs of Lagosians with hearing difficulty through the provision of hearing aids and other medical support,” he said.
According to the governor, a huge number of residents were already benefitting from the initiative, adding that 250,000 Lagosians have been listed to benefit at the end of the programme across the 57 councils in the state.
“We understand that vision and hearing impairments can make life difficult but could be prevented with early care and intervention. That is why we are re- launching the Jigi-Bola initiative as a free sight and hearing aid programme.
“The aim of this re-launch is to improve the capacity for efficient eye and ear care delivery and to ensure Lagosians do not lose their vision and hearing when it could have been prevented,” he said.