Our main focus is on education but we are very conscious that many
are prevented from studying because of poor eyesight. Very often this
can be treated so in 2002 we started an Eye Care project. Under the direction of Sudanese ophthalmologist Dr. Nabila Radi
Elias, who donates much of her services to Together for Sudan, this
project has become one of our showpieces for community cooperation. At
no charge to patients, at least 2,500 individuals are now examined each
year. Recently the Eye Care Project received an official award from the
Sudanese Humanitarian Affairs Commission for community service.
Since the project started in 2002 with a one off grant from Christian
Aid, a total of over 15,000 individuals have been examined and some 1,670
eye surgeries, mainly for cataract, have been carried out. Two years ago
we trained 25 health and hygiene workers and several of these trainees
now assist as volunteers during Eye Care outreaches. Most of the
outreach sites are in areas where there are no or limited medical services.
Our first outreach in the Nuba Mountains was held at Kadugli in 2006. Attendees at the field clinics are treated for conditions such as worms,
burns, wounds, dysentery and skin ailments. Glaucoma, trachoma, eye
tumours and eye injury or infection are common. The project has been
supported by Refugees International
Japan (RIJ) and Light for the World to whom we are most grateful.
RIJ also funded a week-long eye care outreach in
Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains in 2006. With support from Light for
the World, an Austrian charity, we continued with two outreaches a
year in various locations in the Nuba Mountains until June 2011,
when the outbreak of fighting and the looting of our office in
Kadugli, including the theft of the microscope used
for eye operations, forced the suspension of our work in the area.
March - 2013
In the last twelve months we have carried out two outreaches a month in the
Khartoum area, seeing a total of 952 patients.
It has not been possible to work in the Nuba Mountains, but funds
originally allocated for Kadugli were used for an outreach at Um
Ruwaba in North Kordofan in May, which treated 1,805 patients.
There was a successful follow-up in June.
A further operations outreach took place in Khartoum on 14 November
with a follow up in December: 355 patients were seen and 48
operations carried out.
Funds for this programme from the original donor are now exhausted.
We have though received two private donations which should enable us
to continue the programme at the rate of one outreach a month.
The most recent was in Omdurman on 25 February when 103 patients
were seen, 70 received medicines and 32 operations recommended.