Eye health project to ease access to quality eye care services

09Oct 2019
Beatrice Philemon
The Guardian
Eye health project to ease access to quality eye care services

SIGHTSAVERS Tanzania yesterday launched ‘Boresha Macho’ Inclusive Eye Health project to help vulnerable people access quality eye care services, prevent blindness, treat avoidable blindness and restore sight for people.

Country Director of Sightsavers Tanzania, Gosbert Katunzi revealed this when speaking during the launching ceremony of the three-year project, which is being funded by the Department for International Development (DFID)’s UK Aid.  DFID has donated 2 million Pounds to Sightsavers Tanzania for the implementation of Boresha Macho Project in Morogoro and Singida regions.

He said Boresha Macho project will be implemented in five district councils in Morogoro region and seven district councils in Singida region starting in October 1st this year.

Through Sightsavers’ Boresha Macho Inclusive eye health project, a total of 150,000 people especially marginalised and disabled people will get free eye screening or examination, 13,500 patients will get free cataract surgery and restore their sight while 6000 people will get spectacles.

The main goal was to deliver improved eye health to address the leading cause of blindness across the region.

Sightsavers is an international organisation that works in more than 30 developing countries to prevent blindness, restore sight and advocate for social inclusion and equal rights for people with disabilities.

He said the project will ensure that eye health services are accessible to everyone, he said noting that information and services must be made more accessible so that everyone can get treatment for eye conditions equally including women, elderly people and people with disabilities.

“We know that eye health services are not reaching many of the most marginalised people in Morogoro and Singida region, cataract surgeries will restore the sight of thousands and more people with non-surgical treatment,” he noted.

According to him, blindness and poor vision have a tremendous impact on quality of life for people living in Morogoro and Singida regions, it often leads to social isolation and financial.

Also more than 500 health professionals will get training in primary eye care and over 550 clinical and non-clinical staff in gender and disability inclusion to ensure services are accessible to all.

“As well as increasing awareness and understanding of inclusion, the programme will improve accessibility of health facilities and ensure that people with disabilities are involved in leading and shaping the services provided.”

Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and  Children, Ministry  of State in the President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government,  Association of people living with disabilities (SHIVIWATA), Morogoro Regional People Elderly Organisation, Singida Saidia Wazee Tanzania and Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP are the stakeholders of the project.

For his part, Noel Kazimoto, Assistant Morogoro Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS) thanked to DFID for their financial support because their health services will bring brightness to Tanzanian people who are suffering cataract and strengthen friendship between the two countries.

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