Elizabeth Kishiki on behalf of the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), Tanzania

 

 

Aim

Improving pediatric eye care services for children with low vision and blinding eye diseases throughout Eastern Uganda

 

The project

There is currently no access to subsidized surgical services, medical services, glasses or postoperative care for children with avoidable blindness and low vision in Eastern Uganda. Furthermore, there is an unmet need for additional staff in the refraction unit within the pediatric eye care division of the Benedictine Eye Hospital in Tororo.

An existing collaboration between the KCCO and the Benedictine Eye Hospital has worked to link the hospital with children in local communities who have pediatric cataracts or other ocular diseases, and refer them for treatment.

The aim of this project is to build upon this work to provide subsidy for surgery, administer postoperative care, and supply assistive devices (low vision devices/distance corrections) to children with low vision and blinding eye diseases throughout eastern Uganda. In addition, a local refractionist from the Benedictine Eye Hospital will receive training and support to help provide much-needed pediatric eye care services.

The project will also build 200 reading stands for distribution to local schools, and implement a large-scale awareness program to inform the community of the subsidized services available at the hospital. This part of the initiative will help the hospital to generate funds from those who are able to pay for pediatric services to subsidize those who are not, and thus become self-sustaining.

It is hoped that this project will ensure that all children who are identified with surgical or low vision needs in this region can continue to receive support, and it is estimated that in the course of two years more than 2,000 children will benefit.

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