Seven Thousand Cataract Patients to Access Free Surgery
At least 7000 patients with cataract will get a second chance to have eyesight, thanks to the Malawi Network of Order Persons Organizations (MANEPO).
Speaking during an inspection of how the work is progressing in Salima on Wednesday, project manager for MANEPO Linda Matita said so far more than 1500 patients have been treated.
“With calls for extension on the timeframe of the project, we are still engaging our donors to see whether we can go beyond 2024.
“Our partners, Nkhoma Mission Hospital, are currently on the ground providing help to patients in need of cataract removal,” she further explained.
However, an optometrist at Salima District Hospital Dr. Hope Kathumba says poor roads are causing delays in the completion of the project in the district, but was optimistic that their target to assist 100 patients in Salima will be successful.
“So far, over 50 patients have received and responded well to treatment,” he said.
One of the patients, Mabala Mazengela from Mwala Village T/A Maganga, told Zodiak on Wednesday that since he got cataract, he could no longer support his family as he had to stop fishing.
“My four months of blindness were depressing; I’m grateful to my wife for not abandoning me during this period. I am a changed person now,” he said.
Another patient who has benefited from the programme Yotamu Samson from Kalilañgwe village TA Makanjira has expressed appreciation as he could not see for four years.
“It was very disheartening to be moved around by my little brother. I cannot wait to go back to normal life. All I can say is thank you all the donors,” said Samson.
National Eyecare Coordinator in the ministry of health Michael Peter Masika says 50% of blind people in the country have cataract and has urged Malawians to seek professional checkup as the disease is curable.
“Cataract is reversible. It is not fair for one to go blind for good when solutions are available,” observed Masika.
According to MANEPO, people from 10 districts in the country, including Salima, will benefit from the project.