Malawi commemorates World Sight Day
As Malawi joins the rest of the world in commemorating World Sight Day today, Malawi Union of the Blind MUB says more needs to be done to deal with preventable blindness.
In a statement, MUB executive Director Ezekiel Kumwenda said 80 percent of visual impairments are due to preventable causes hence the need to intensify efforts in the prevention of blindness especially in developing countries.
“The world sight day was set aside to raise awareness on issues affecting persons with visual impairment and those with partial sight,” said Kumwenda.
Speaking during the commemoration n Machinga, Secretary for Health Dr. McPhail Magwira said blindness remains a serious health problem in Malawi despite government efforts to deal with causes of blindness.
He commended Heart to Heart Foundation for complementing government efforts in trachoma elimination saying trachoma is preventable and can also be treated.
In her testimony at the function, Awetu Andiwochi said she suffered from trachoma for a longtime and sought medical eye treatment and was cured.
“Prior to receiving medical attention from the hospital, I sought eye concoctions from traditional healers which failed to heal her eye problem,” disclosed Andiwochi
She therefore called on those with symptoms of trachoma to seek medical treatment from hospitals other than seeking herbal treatment saying only eye care specialists can cure trachoma.
In his remarks, Heart to Heart Foundation country director, Boyce Nyirenda asked government to increase the number of eye specialists in hospitals to effectively deal with trachoma and other eye problems.
“Malawi has eight eye doctors and 65 eye clinicians, a situation which is not proportional to the country’s 17 million people,” said Nyirenda.
Nyirenda called for the revision of the 2011-2016 National Eye Care Plan which is expiring this year saying a National Eye Care Plan will facilitate effective trachoma prevention in the country.
Acting District Commissioner (DC) for Machinga Enock Chumachao commended Heart to Heart foundation for implementing activities in Machinga which aims at dealing with trachoma.
“I appeal to People in this district to adopt practices of hygiene to prevent trachoma saying prevention is better than cure,” Chumachao pleaded.
The 2016 World Sight Day was commemorated under the theme ‘Stronger Together in Eliminating Trachoma’ and the commemoration was held at Namasika Primary School at Traditional Authority (T/A) Kapoloma.