By Lusekero Mhango
People with poor eyesight in Karonga are seeing the world in a new sharper focus following donations of free eye glasses by a group of optometric doctors and students from Cardiff university in partnership with Pontallanfrath Rotary club from the United Kingdom.
The exercise which was carried out in the area of traditional authority (TA) Kyungu began on Monday in Mlare and concluded Wednesday at Mwenelondo CCAP church has seen over 600 people screened and given specs for their eyesight.
Speaking in an interview program manager for the thermology outreach project John Rowland, said the biggest cause of visual impairment in subsahara Africa is due to a lack of Glass’s hence the donation.
“We know not many Malawian’s can afford to buy glasses as they are expensive to perches but we know through the screening and the specks we have provided has made the communities really happy as others gave up hope of regaining sight,” he said.
He added apart from providing free eye Glasses to a target of 4000 poor sighted people across the country and they will cover cost for over 100 cataract patients to have their operations at a cost of 25 pounds per person.
“Our main focus is visually impaired and blindness caused by cataracts. We know if we give one pair of glasses to someone it changes their life as they can work better and if we can provide operations to remove cataracts and restore their eyesight to us that’s fantastic,” said Rowland.
Peter Holmes from Pontllanfaith Rotary held the partnership that exists between Malawians and them saying the success of the project wouldn’t have been achieved without their passion for the thermology outreach program.
Member of Parliament for the area Frank Mwenefumbo who initiated the coming of the doctors to the area in collaboration with his brother Ngwele, expressed his gratitude to the British doctors and students for coming to his area as there is a lot of eye related health challenges in his constituency.
“As you know government is over stretched it can’t reach out to every community in Malawi therefore as a local leader i have a mandate of initiating such programs hence my gratitude to the doctors who have fundraised and brought the glasses and equipment to the area for people to benefit from them,” Mwenefumbo articulated.