Eye camps are the main focus of the Ona Network activities. These have been successfully run for the past seven years. There has been clearly notable growth over the time with the number of patients benefiting from the eye camps increasing dramatically. During EyeCamp2008, Ona Network conducted four eye camps between July and December. This is the highest number of camps per year attempted to date. The camps were conducted in different areas in Dodoma region in central Tanzania. Through these camps, 5212 eye examinations were performed, 2841 pairs of spectacles were dispensed at no cost to the patient, 116 received cataract surgeries at no cost to themselves, 978 tubes/bottles of topical eye medication were appropriately dispensed, 280 patients received low cost spectacles and 30 volunteers and remunerated staff participated in delivery of these services.

Qualified staff and volunteers conducted all eye examinations. The services were provided to patients from forty different villages and a number of locations in urban areas of Dodoma region.

Volunteer optometrists and ophthalmologists performing eye examinations in villages

Spectacles were appropriately distributed during the eye camps at no cost or obligation to the patients. Throughout the eye camps 2841 pairs of spectacles were appropriately distributed. Thanks to the Lions Club, Optometry Association of Australia, churches, individuals, optometrists and optical suppliers in Australia for the provision of these spectacles.

Free in the villages and low cost in the towns.

Through the low cost spectacles scheme (LoCoS), 280 patients received spectacles, paying approximately US$ 5-10 per pair, about 80% cheaper than the normal local cost. This scheme enables everyone to have access to spectacles regardless of their financial status. This is important because there is no government subsidy or any free spectacles scheme. The service was provided in urban areas targeting the low socio-economic section of the population and students at colleges. Spectacles sold during LoCoS are locally purchased by Ona Network, a small number of spectacle frames from donors have also being distributed through the LoCoS for fitting special lenses such as bifocals and high powered lenses.

Many thanks to all our supporters, volunteers, village leaders and the Tanzania Ministry of Health.