2004 EYE CAMP REPORT

More than 1000 patients benefited from the EyeCamp2004 that was conducted in Morogoro region of Tanzania in East Africa.

Morogoro Region is home to about 1.7 million people according to 2002 Tanzania National Population and Housing Census. Health services to the people of Morogoro are provided by the regional hospital, as well as by other hospitals and health centres at the district and village levels. As for most regions in Tanzania, Morogoro has a significant need for eye care services. To ease this situation, the involvement of non-governmental organizations is vital. This situation was the impetus for the recent ONA Network's EyeCamp 2004 in Morogoro.

The region of Morogoro was selected as the site of EyeCamp 2004 after an in-depth survey conducted in five regions early 2004. The regions involved were Arusha, Morogoro, Iringa, Dar es Salaam and Tanga. The Survey investigated the acquisition of spectacles in middle and low class populations in these regions. Several parameters were identified including magnitude of the need, availability of spectacles and affordability.

The Eyecare camp 2004 team was comprised of a total of 12 optometric and non-optometric volunteers: 4 from Tanzania, 2 from Germany and 6 from Australia.
Following good cooperation, organization and enthusiasim and hardwork from the team, more than 1000 patients benefited from the camp. The total number of patients seen in each village was as follows: Mgeta: 392 patients, Tawa: 104 patients, Kimamba: 344 patients and Kambala: 169 patients. A total of 1,400 spectacles were appropriately distributed meeting the EyeCamp 2004 goal of improving vision of 1000 people in 4 days. The major causes of poor vision and/or blindness were cataract, uncorrected refractive errors, glaucoma and cornea scars.

The second week was spent in setting up a low cost eye clinic in Morogoro township. This clinic will serve as both an ophthalmological and optometric clinic, to provide reliable, affordable and quality services to middle and low class sections of the Morogoro population. The clinic is expected to undergo gradual improvement and instrumentalization to be able to offer better and more comprehensive eyecare services.