Frank Magupa on behalf of Ona Network, Inc., Tanzania

 

 

Aim

Providing reliable, affordable and sustainable cataract surgery in the Tanzanian city of Dodoma and the surrounding region

 

The project

There is no existing cataract center in the city of Dodoma, representing a regional population of 2.1 million people. It is estimated that within this population, there are 10,000 established cataract cases and 2,000 new cases each year. The current service can only manage 100 referrals for cataract surgery annually. Additionally, the majority of patients in need are likely to be poor residents of the city and surrounding villages, who could not afford surgery even if it was available.

This initiative aims to enhance the skills of the staff currently working in the cataract center and upgrade the equipment and facilities. This will allow the team to expand their current capacity to around 1,500 low-cost cataract surgeries per year. This project hopes to replicate and successfully adapt models that have been established in other centers, such as the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology in Tanzania and the Nakuru Provincial General Hospital in Kenya, by combining training with service delivery.

The project will be staged over two years, beginning with an initial training course to enhance the clinical skills of the existing staff, followed by a further three educational courses. Staff undertaking training will progressively take on greater roles and will be fully capable of sustainable and ongoing delivery of cataract surgery and education from the end of the project.

Improving eye health in this under-served population within Tanzania will bring substantial socioeconomic benefits to the lives of patients and their families.

 

Update

XOVA funding has been used to upgrade the surgical theater and acquire new equipment in order to expand the capacity of the Ona Cataract Centre service. The first intensive clinical training course is now complete, and the first of three additional training courses took place in September 2014.

 

Last update September 2014.

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