KWEKWE: Help Age in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Christian Blind Mission UK, and UKAID recently brought a cataract eye clinic to Kwekwe General Hospital, Midlands Province, a program they say will continue until 2025.
Key activities under the project include providing training on inclusive eye healthcare workers, equipping and refurbishing the Provincial eye unit a well as providing cataract surgeries.
Help Age Zimbabwe executive director, Pricilla Gavi said the organization is also doing similar work in Mashonaland Central, Manicaland, and Harare.
“The Midlands project is not new to our program but it is now on a broader scope just as the project we are running concurrently in Mashonaland Central. Both programs are covering eight districts each. In Harare and Mutare, we have been doing this work at Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Clinic and Sakubva Eye Clinic respectively.
This program is a nutshell of what we are doing and also as much as we are looking into age health programs, we would want to try and link it to water sanitation and health so that we try and avoid diseases like cataracts which are in many instances related to our faces not being clean,” said Gavi.
Help Age board member, Dr Tavengwa Nhongo also said the organization seeks to spread the program much further so as to curb avoidable blindness.
“If blindness is avoidable why not put effort to avoid it? Cataract usually comes with age but is treatable through surgery and that’s why we are reaching out to provide the service. A cataract is also found in young people but not as much as you would find them in the elderly community,” Dr. Nhongo said.
A local partner, Kwekwe Lions Club said they were impressed by the turnout of the eye clinic.
“We were hoping to receive only 100 people but numbers now plus 150. This shows that the program has been well received and going forward, cataract challenges will be lessened in the Midlands community,” said club representative, Eric Musesengwe.
Beneficiaries said they were glad the program was now closer to their doorstep and do hope for the best results.
“I am glad to be receiving this service closer to home and I am hoping to have my right eyesight restored,” said Mika Moyo (72).
“Currently, my vision is just blurry but I came here with the hope that my sight will be restored. We had run out of funds to continue traveling across the country seeking medical attention and this mobile clinic is a welcome development,” added Junior Chivende (86).
Meanwhile, other scheduled eye camps this quarter will be held in Chirumhanzu district between 19-23 June 2023 and Gokwe South district between 26-30 June 2023.