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Regional Referral Hospitals to Receive New Non Contact Eye Equipment

Eye care providers are using handheld devices to examine people’s eyes which exposes them to COVID-19 since they have to be very close to the eye and yet there is safe better modern equipment.
Dr. Moses Kasadhakawa, a Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist at Mulago National Referral hospital demonstrates how the equipment works. The Ministry recieved these as a donation from International NGO Light the World.

Audio 3

The Ministry of Health will disburse new indirect eye examination equipment Ophthalmoscopes to the National and Regional Referral hospitals across the country.

Currently, eye care providers are using hand-held devices to examine eyes which exposes them to COVID-19 since they have to be very close to the eye and yet there is safe better modern equipment.

The fifteen indirect ophthalmoscopes and fifteen cataract kits that are a donation from an international disability and development NGO Light for the World are adding on to other donations into eye care as the sub-division utterly depends on aid to operate.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Diana Atwine says even if eye services should be an independent area with funds directly allocated to tackling diseases of the eyes and infrastructure, they are hidden under the Disability Division yet many visual problems can be corrected with appropriate care.

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This however is not the only challenge that they face.  Dr. Stanley Bubikire, an Assistant Commissioner in charge of disability and rehabilitation in the health ministry says they operate with huge gaps since even as each regional referral hospital is supposed to have an ophthalmologist, Hoima, Kabale, and Masaka hospitals operate with none. 

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Silvester Kasozi, the Country Director of Light the World said considering the need, the organization has refocused from entirely working to help people with uncorrected refractive errors.

For instance, he says through their new focus on comprehensive eye care, they have launched a 10-year Child Eye Health Program that focuses on reducing the number of children who become unnecessarily blind and visually impaired.  

MOH statistics show cataracts to be the biggest eye problem accounting for 57.1 % of blindness.

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