We should be able to share some of the design ideas for our latest School very soon. But let’s update you on the progress with the Eye care project which Trustee Denise started about 3 years ago.
Sebastian, our partner in Jinja has reported; so far we have screened and treated a total 138 children. These were diagnosed with various eye conditions like cataract (15 ), allergies conjunctivitis (103) myopia (12) glaucoma (1) so far treated with corneal transplant, other four are still pending and squints (03).
Some of these children are started going to school especially for those whose parents/ guardians who can afford the school requirements like uniforms and stationery. The majority are still out of school as their parents cannot afford the education because of their high poverty level in these family households.
There about four children who need corneal transplants still waiting for the surgeries in Kampala. This is because there is no funding to cater for these expensive surgeries.
Many times, there is a challenge of finding a right pathway for those children with very complicated cases here in Uganda. Some of these even may need to be taken out Uganda for specialised treatment like the case of Moureen Divine Favour among others.
Among the barriers that limit our work include;
a) lack of qualified personnel for eye care here in Uganda to diagnose and treat some conditions. Some cases are only handled in private eye hospitals like Dr. Agarwals Hospital in Kampala which charge a great deal..
b) Lack of transport on the side of the organisation to transport those children screened and referred to Kampala for further treatment.
This is so because sometimes we transport over ten children to Kampala. This means that the vehicle is hired for the whole day which is expensive looking at the meagre resources available.
Secondly, because most people have given up with poor health system, many tend to stop seeking treatment in the government hospitals but to only wait for God’s intervention/ good Samaritans. For that reason, if a new help comes up like ours, we have to travel wide in the communities to identify and register these children. This means that we need to have adequate transport always to reach these vulnerable children.
c) Wrong myths among the community members on the causes of visual related conditions. Many parents and other community members lack facts on the causes and treatment of these conditions. Many attribute these diseases to witchcraft and hence spend most their time using herbal medicines to treat the children. By the time they come for proper treatment many of these children have already lost their sight completely.