Programme brings community eye care awareness to remote areas in northern Malawi

The community eye health programme instigated by David Gordon Memorial Hospital (DGMH) in Livingstonia, northern Malawi, recently extended its work to Chakaka, one of the hardest-to-reach villages in the Livingstonia catchment area.

Up to now, eye care for people in remote places such as this would only be available if they could make the long trek (for most people, on foot) to the hospital. And many country people would have little idea of how the hospital might help, anyway.

Staff from the eye clinic now use motorbikes to reach make the journey to villages like Chakaka that have no road access. (See this post for more info.)

The awareness visits are designed to help local people understand how they can look after their own eyes and those of their families and to inform traditional leaders, pastors and school teachers about the benefits of the eye care services available for their people (in preference to the ineffective and often dangerous customary ‘remedies’).

The local leaders, in turn, help to reinforce the hospital’s message. And while the clinical staff are visiting, they bring eye drops and ready readers, which help to validate their message.