Eye care project to reach out to 100,000 people in Lake Zone

MWANZA: OVER 100,000 people in Lake Zone as well as Tabora and Katavi regions are expected to benefit from the eye care project, worth about 3bn/-.

The fund is also for renovation of 54 eye service buildings in all nine regions, provision of capacity building training to service providers, as well as (eye care) medical equipment.

A-three-year project (2023-2025) is being implemented by Bugando Zonal Referral Hospital, under sponsorship of the German’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in collaboration with the Christian Blind Mission (CBM).

Speaking over the weekend during the free tests and treatment for Mwanza residents, CBM Resident Director in Tanzania, Ms Nesia Mahenge said that the project was initiated after discovering that eye complications was becoming a serious problem.

“We keep on encouraging members of the community to have regular eye tests, in efforts to have either to get timely treatments or being educated on preventive measures,” she said.

Bugando Eye Specialist, Dr James Shimba said that majority do go to hospital with eye problems already being at advanced stage, only to make the recovery unpredictable.

“Whoever experiences eye itching or poor vision should immediately rush to hospital, to let only experts observe the cause, instead of using traditional medicines at first hand and make hospital service an option,” he said.

He stressed that the problem is getting worse as Bugando serves at-least 170 new patients every day, with cataracts, allergies and eye pressure, among other eye complications.

“People at some economic activities, including the welders, must have eye protection because the majority do reach us with the pierced eyes,” warned Dr Shimba.

Eye free tests beneficiaries, including Mr Benedicto Kato, commended the services, but at the same challenged Bugando and the government to consider the presence of sign language experts, for the deaf.

They also called on regular and out-reach programmes for eye tests, so as to serve everyone in need.

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