By ARTHUR MWANSA
THE Zambian Government in partnership with Lions Aid Norway (LAN) has in the last 3 years spent over K15 million on ensuring that eye health services are made available at primary and secondary health facilities in Western Province.
LAN country director Nicholas Mutale told the Femail on Wednesday that his organisation together with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health has since 2011 been supporting collaborative efforts to combat the leading causes of preventable blindness and assist in preserving vision.
Mr Mutale said as a result over 380,000 people have so far been screened and treated for various eye ailments, adding that 1,240 people who were blind due to cataract have had their sight restored and are contributing positively to the economic welfare of their families and the country at large.
He also said 1,570 health and community health workers have so far been oriented in primary eye health care, while 11 registered nurses have been trained as ophthalmic clinical officers.
Mr Mutale said following the request by the Ministry of Health and the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding to 2018, the LAN has agreed to support Central province in its quest to enhance eye health services delivery.
Recently, the LAN in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health hosted a strategic planning workshop for eye health programmes in Central Province which culminated in the formulation of a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of blindness in the area.
Mr Mutale said so far the LAN has spent over K600,000 towards procurement of key implements such as diagnostic equipment, consumables for surgical interventions and a motor vehicle that will be key to the full operationalisation of the strategic plan.
By ARTHUR MWANSA