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Patients being assessed during the surgical camp in Terego



Beneficiaries of surgical camp at Omugo health centre IV in Terego district have expressed that they are anxious to regain their sight.

The over 150 clients during the second day of a weeklong program on Tuesday said they want to begin a new life and become self-reliant.

John Paul Amandi an accountant from Engaa village in Uriama sub-county says regaining his sight will save his job.

“I started having challenges with my sight in 2018, but they were minor and I just kept suppressing them, last year I started getting a serious challenge, I cannot identify distant objects and drive, I am a private auditor based in Kampala, failure to read robs me from performing my work which has driven me out of the city,” Amandi noted.

Totally blind 20-year old Habib Musa says he wants to come out of stigma and go back to school to achieve his dream to become a doctor.

“I thought when my eye started itching it was going to be temporary and my father continued to buy drugs until I lost sight, right now people who help me are tired and accuse me of being lazy and a dependent, I pledge to join P.4 once I am ok to become a doctor,” an optimistic Musa said.

Ophthalmologists Amos Nyathirombo, the lead Doctor in the surgical camp, commented that Doctors with Africa (CUAMM) is doing a tremendous job to handle an operation done at cost of $200 (about sh711,600) in private clinics.

Doctors at work inside the main theater at Omugo Health Centre IV

“The purpose of this eye camp is to give services to the less fortunate members of the society who cannot travel to Arua regional referral hospital eye department or to private centers. So, we have come here as a team and partners to help,” Dr Nyathirombo stated.

He said they will mainly help blinding conditions caused by cataracts which are reversible.

“Over 50% of our patients here have cataracts and 90% of those who are blind are actually due to cataracts. When we extract the cataract covered eye lens and replace it with artificial lens, the patients begin to see immediately the following day when we open their eyes,” said Dr Nyathirombo.

He added that some of the blindness are caused by other conditions such as glaucoma.

He said this is when the pressure inside the eye is higher than normal for a long periods and unfortunately this condition causes irreversible blindness.

The surgical camp estimated to cost sh54m shillings organized by an Italian organization Doctors with Africa (CUAMM) in partnership with Christian Blind Mission (CBM) Uganda begun on Monday.

Community effort for inclusive living, a local organization focused on persons with disabilities in the areas of health and social economic livelihood and lions club (Arua) supported in mobilization of the clients.

It is organized as part of the implementation of foreseeing inclusion: Eye health and disability inclusion in northern project with support from Italian Agency for development cooperation.

Moses Obizu, monitoring and evaluation Manager for CUAMM, said the camp with a theme: “love your eyes and keep them clean” is done to support efforts of ministry of health.

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