Malawi Relief Fund of the United Kingdom (MRF-UK) country coordinator Yakub Valli says people with cataract (an eye disorder) need surgical support to protect them from blindness.
The coordinator said this on Wednesday when the organisation in collaboration with the Mangochi District Hospital embarked on a week-long cataract surgery campaign in Mangochi.
Valli said his discussions with most eye specialists and clinicians on the status of blindness in the country revealed that half the prevalence of blindness was due to cataract.
“Despite eye clinic services being available in some centres in Malawi, very few are able to access them due to barriers such as long distances to hospitals, and cost of surgeries. So we felt duty-bound to help bring the cataract surgical services closer to the people,” he said.
After being discharged, patients are taken back to health centres close to their homes.
He said the organisation targets 4 000 patients in various districts.
Speaking after some surgeries, Frank Mbewe, an eye specialist based at Zomba Central Hospital, said out of 17 million people in the country, about one percent is blind of whom 50 percent is due to cataract.
After receiving treatment, Hawa Chikombole of Chingo Village in Traditional Authority Chowe in the district urged people with eye problems to utilise the service.