Dr Frank Sandi on behalf of the University of Dodoma Teaching Hospital
To establish the first community eye center in Chemba District, Tanzania
Despite major improvements in health care in Tanzania, no funds have been allocated to support eye care services in rural areas of the country, where approximately 80% of the population reside. Despite the available eye unit in Dodoma, the distance to the hospital and the cost of services continue to prevent the majority of villagers from accessing eye care. Therefore, this project will fund the country's first community eye center in Chemba District, home to 350,000 individuals. Community eye centers are stand-alone facilities serving rural populations that are staffed by ophthalmic technicians and provide a full range of services, including teleophthalmology.
This initiative will provide local primary eye care and a referral pathway to the base hospital for eye treatment and surgery. The center will also pilot the use of e-health (a forum where clinical assistance can be sought through the internet) through a virtual online working hub, thereby generating evidence on the effectiveness of this model to encourage the Ministry of Health to support country-wide expansion.