A year ago, Aaron, was blind. Thanks to complex eye surgery, sponsored by HUGS he is now at college, aged 17, and wants to be a doctor. Geoffrey, lost his vision aged 11. After treatment for his eye infections he has returned to secondary school, is catching up with his studies and loves playing football.
HUGS helps to identify, assess and treat children who have lost their sight. 70% have conditions that are easily treatable. But with limited resources and only one eye specialist per 1 million of the population many children slowly lose their sight, their education and their future potential.
Sebastian Waiswa, is from a town called Jinja. He is a teacher and chair of a children’s charity called the ‘Organisaton of Parents with Disabled Children’ (OPDC). He approached HUGS to help him do more for children who are blind or deaf. We made contact with Priya Gupta a Professor in Optometry, living in Jinja and together they assessed 100 children. With eye drops and spectacles half these children quickly returned to school.
Sister Primrose Magala a senior Ophthalmology nurse from the Moorfield’s Hospital in London heard about our work. She arranges ‘eye camps’ where UK doctors and nurses travel to Kampala and perform cataract operations. They have permanently restored the sight of many of our children.
HUGS now works in partnership with The Uganda, UK Health Alliance (UUKHA) that brings politicians, health workers and eye specialist together. We sponsor two Optometry Students at Makerere University.
We are funding the construction of a new school, with OPDC especially for children with sensory disabilities. It will have an eye clinic that specialises in the prevention of blindness in children.