Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

19 November 2012

Tanzania: Eye Treatment Programme to Launch

THE Vice-President, Dr Mohammed Gharib Bilal, will on Tuesday officiate at the launch of the four-year programme aiming at providing eye treatment to children in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

Dubbed 'Seeing is Believing Child Health Programme', the arrangement will look forward to reduce the rate of avoidable blindness and visual impairment specifically amongst the children of between 0 to 15 years of age.

Announcing the launch of the programme at the weekend, the Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jeremy Awori, said apart from the Vice-President, an event will also be attended by Health Ministers from the three countries.

"We expect to conduct the eye clinic at the launch to be held at the Mnazi Mmoja grounds where about 1,000 will be freely checked. We encourage people to bring their children for this rare campaign," he said.

Apart from eye screening, the programme will also concentrate on education and awareness campaigns which will involve about 1,000 medical staff from various health institutions in the three countries.

Eye conditions are among the top diseases in the country, according to Health Statistics Abstract 2008, that has already left 320,000 Tanzanians blind and about 1 million others visually impaired.

"The impact of blindness and visual impairment on children is far greater than for adults as a child has their whole life to live than the adults. So we are obliged to make sure they are free of this problem," he said.

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