A Sightsavers project in Tanzania has helped over 178,000 people access basic eye health services in the country, the international development organisation has revealed.
Development Diaries reports that the project particularly focused on people with disabilities and women, who traditionally face barriers to accessing health care.
It is understood that in 2022, an estimated 8.2 million people in the country had vision loss1 and without concerted effort, the number could increase.
SDG Three: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), in a 2020 report, noted that eye diseases are ranked tenth among the top ten causes of morbidity in Tanzania.
The Sightsavers project, titled, ‘Boresha Macho’, which closed in December 2022, was implemented in the Morogoro and Singida regions of the East African country.
Funded by the government of the United Kingdom through UK Aid Match and developed in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Tanzania, the initiative aimed to restore and protect vision by providing equitable access to eye care.
‘Access to eye health services is a fundamental human right and good eye health equals opportunity, allowing children to learn and adults to earn’, Programme Manager at Sightsavers, Edwin Maleko, said.
‘Prioritising eye health plays an important part in creating a ripple effect across education, well-being, economics, and health outcomes; which ultimately helps reduce poverty and allows individuals, communities, and the nation, to thrive’.
The organisation, in a statement to Development Diaries, said, ‘The project has transformed the lives of people such as Holo from Singida region who helps farm and care for her grandchildren. Loss of sight from cataracts made these tasks difficult and Holo felt unstable on her feet.
‘Cataract surgery has given her a “new beginning”. She feels joyful, energetic, and can work and walk around again. Holo has now encouraged her brother to seek treatment for his vision impairment’.
The Boresha Macho project was implemented between October 2019 and December 2022.
Photo source: Sightsavers