5 December 2012

The Eye Care Project

The following information taken from the Together for Sudan website ties in nicely with the theme of my previous blog post.

  It is 5th December, International Volunteer Day and here we can see how the efforts of this UK registered charity is making an impact to the people of Sudan and South Sudan by providing access to free eye care as well as education. 

 Together for Sudan runs the eye care project as a support cause to its educational efforts as poor eyesight affects the ability of a person to read and write and also because of the dire need of basic eye care for so many people in Sudan and South Sudan. 

The following copyright protected information has been provided courtesy of Together for Sudan for the purpose of this blog post.

A 20 year old patient was operated on by Dr Nabila Radi Elias on
the day of the outreach to remove a foreign body.
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 Together for Sudan, 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. The project has been supported by Refugees International Japan (RIJ) and Light for the World to whom we are most grateful.
RIJ also funded a week-long eye care outreach in Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains in 2006. With support from Light for the World, an Austrian charity, we continued with two outreaches a year in various locations in the Nuba Mountains until June 2011, when the outbreak of fighting and the looting of our office in Kadugli, including the theft of the microscope used
for eye operations, forced the suspension of our work in the area.

Current Funding Position Dec 2012
We are at the tail end of the Light for the World funding.  A promised one-off grant of €10K for Khartoum has not been forthcoming.

Dec - 2012
Since March we have carried out two outreaches a month in the Khartoum area.  Funds originally allocated for Kadugli were used for an outreach at Um Ruwaba in North Kordofan in May, which  treated 1,805 patients.  There was a successful follow-up in June.
A further operations outreach took place in Khartoum on 15 November:  355 patients were seen, of whom 300 received medicines, and 48 operations were carried out including 29 cataracts.  Follow-up is scheduled for 13 December.
We have funds on hand to sustain the outreach programme for a month or so.
£5 (US$7) will buy a child a pair of prescription glasses and £14 (US$22) will pay for cataract surgery.

If you have any questions about donating or giving you can send our treasurer an e-mail. We are always pleased to try and help in any way we can.

For any general enquiries regarding Together for Sudan, our project work or to offer help please contact us through the e-mail address below. We will always be pleased to hear from you.

 Together for Sudan the Bishop Mubarak Fund - Registered UK Charity No. 1075852

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