Cataract clouding (clouding of the eye lens) and trachoma
are the leading causes of blindness in the world – and this holds true
for Singida as well. Nearly 20 million people worldwide are blind as a result
of cataract poblems and 100 million are in need of surgery to restore vision.
Cataract clouding develops from aging, trauma, diabetes or hereditary factors.
Trachoma is a preventable infection prevalent in poor communities with
limited access to adequate sanitation and clean water. The infection leads
to a buildup of scar tissue in the eye, forcing the eyelid to curl inward
and scratch the cornea. Untreated, it can cause permanent blindness. Trachoma
is widespread in many poor countries (75% of those affected are in Africa)
and has left 150 million people in need of treatment. Women and children
are amongst those most affected*.
In partnership with Hellen Keller International and the
Lions Club of Tanzania, Singida Yetu plans to support Singida Region’s
program for community outreach and hold patient identification workshops.
It also plans to build facilities for a cataract and trachoma eye surgery
and recovery center at Singida’s Regional Hospital. The trachoma surgery
enables previously blind people to regain vision immediately.
Trachoma prevention will also be bolstered through Singida Yetu’s
water supply and sanitation (WSS) initiatives, and through its health and
sanitation education initiatives.