When I discovered that I needed a pair of glasses, I was shocked by the $180 price tag. “If I had trouble with that price,” said Hope, the director of KCIU, “then definitely the local communities will have trouble with the price [of glasses]. … and it is here that I realized there was a problem.”
Through a friend I was introduced to the director of Dot glasses project. I was very excited by the potential impact for the community that we serve. Poor vision is an issue that impacts a huge part of this region.
This launch could have happened earlier but the Covid pandemic, halted all our plans. So on the 29 October 2020, we finally saw this day come to pass, we saw a high turn-up of patients all hoping to restore their eye sight. Thanks to the mobilization by the VHTs.
The Lord is good, the Bible says, “…The Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous….” Psalms 146:5
Several patients shared their challenges with vision. For 18 year old Mark, this was a dream come true. Coming from a poor family, he could never afford glasses. And this always forced himself to struggle reading in class. “My mother heard about this eye camp from the VHT, this morning, we quickly dressed up so that we do not miss the chance to get this eye test. I am happy I got tested and got the glasses. I know that when school starts I will not find it hard to read.”, Mark said with a big smile on his face.
Northern Uganda, is among the poorest regions in the country, with scarce coverage of basic eye care services. The prevalence of eye impairment in Northern Uganda is the highest in the whole country according to the 4th Eye Health Plan 2016-2020 of Ministry of health.
In Uganda, a lack of ophthalmologists is a major challenge, patients are therefore forced to travel long distances to get an eye test. Another challenge is the cost, for a typical rural person, these costs are un affordable. This need goes unmet for children in rural areas, who are then forced to drop out of school. A number of children often have their future hampered because of poor vision, they are then trapped in a cycle of poverty.