The Eye Care Project
Our main focus is on education but we are very conscious that many are prevented from studying because of poor eyesight. Very often this can be treated so in 2002 we started an Eye Care project. Under the direction of Sudanese ophthalmologist Dr. Nabila Radi Elias, who donates much of her services to the Women's Education Partnership, this project has become one of our showpieces for community cooperation. At no charge to patients, at least 2,500 individuals are now examined each year. Recently the Eye Care Project received an official award from the Sudanese Humanitarian Affairs Commission for community service.
Since the project started in 2002 with a one off grant from Christian Aid, a total of over 15,000 individuals have been examined and some 1,670 eye surgeries, mainly for cataract, have been carried out. Two years ago we trained 25 health and hygiene workers and several of these trainees now assist as volunteers during Eye Care outreaches. Most of the outreach sites are in areas where there are no or limited medical services. Our first outreach in the Nuba Mountains was held at Kadugli in 2006. Attendees at the field clinics are treated for conditions such as worms, burns, wounds, dysentery and skin ailments. Glaucoma, trachoma, eye tumours and eye injury or infection are common.
Sixteen eye care outreaches were conducted in the Khartoum area in the period from January to September 2014 at the rate of 2 outreaches per month (no outreaches in January). In these outreaches 1472 patients were examined by experienced Ophthalmologists, 185 operations were carried out, and a further 43 were recommended. The total number of glasses and lenses distributed was 379. Additionally, 776 patients were supplied with medicines. It has not been possible to resume work in the Nuba Mountains.