Community eye health care project launched at Embangweni

We are very excited to share with you that Embangweni Mission Hospital is launching a community eye health care project for its catchment area, which includes around 100,000 people. The project is centred on the hospital’s eye clinic, while the wider area is served by five remote community clinics. But importantly, it is the involvement of local community leaders that will help to make the project a success.

Accordingly, preparatory stages of the project have concentrated on the ‘sensitisation’ and training of village chiefs, church leaders, school teachers, primary healthcare staff, and voluntary healthcare workers.

Local community leaders here being informed about eye health and how they can help the people they serve.
A group of local pastors after a day’s training together with eye clinic staff (in the red T-shirts)

The response from these training sessions has been very encouraging, with many attendees pleased to have a better understanding of eye health and gratified to know that optical and medical eye care services are available at the hospital for the people they serve.

The next stage involves screening programmes in local communities and schools.

Our thanks go to many friends in the UK whose generosity has made the launch of this programme possible. This is also an opportunity to give a big hand to the clinical staff who have worked hard to get their qualifications and build up the clinic over recent years, and who will be at the centre of this health programme as it rolls out.

An essential part of the sensitisation programme has been to inform the general public of the importance of eye health care through general publicity. Many flyers have been distributed, banners are displayed at the hospital, and signs directing people to the eye clinic, like the one just completed here by the local signwriter.