Masasi readies for eye treating camps

11Mar 2016
Joseph Mwendapole
The Guardian
Masasi readies for eye treating camps

The Sun is scorching, but clouds are slowly gathering up in the sky signaling another downpour in Masasi District.

Lions Club Dar es Salaam Mzizima attend people with eye problems in Tabora recently. They are now heading for Masasi

Upon seeing this, 58 years old James Alsante mind is in trouble, thinking where he will sleep that night as his grass thatched house leaks.

During this rainy season, Elsante has no peace of mind, he knows more rains means a lot of problems to him, but he has no choice, he leaves everything in the hands of his creator.

What pains him most is seeing his grandson crying all night as he can not sleep on a wet mat.

“Every time the rains come means problems to my life and that of my grandson, we always play that the rains should come during day time, not at night because it comes at night it means a lot of problems. I can stand for hours but my grand son can not sleep on a wet mat.

I have no choice but to leave everything in the hands of my creator who is my guider and my provider.” he said.

Elsante who is blind, openly says that he face such a problem because he can not repair his roof himself as his son who was doing that job for him died last year and no one in the village seems to be concerned with his predicament.

Seeking to cure his blindness he visited many private and government hospitals where he has been turned away without any assistance as he could not pay the money health officials demand.

“ As you see, I was born normal but this blindness come as a result of years of sickness, I have been to too many hospitals but I can not manage to pay the money they charge me , I have not lost hope, I know one day I will have my sight back.” he said.

In Tanzania many people are going through the same predicament as that of Elsente and others even more than that.

Knowing this well, the Lions Club Dar es Salaam Mzizima some years ago started a programme of providing eye camp especially in rural areas.

Eye coordinator for the club Mustafa Kurudart in an interview said his club has conducted many eye camps in the country and this year they plan to have mega camps in Masasi, Pemba and Tanga .

He said next week Lions Club of Mzizima will be in Masasi conducting eye camp where they expect to conduct 150 eye operations and distribute more than 1050 spectators to people from villages of Chigugu, Chiungutwa, Lipumburu, Lukuledi, Lulindi, Mbuyuni ,Mchaura and Mkululu .

Other villages to benefit from the camp are Mkundi, Mnavira, Mpindimbi, Mwema ,Namajani, Namalenga, Namatutwe, Nanganga, Nanjota and Sindano .

“We will be in Masasi next week where 22 Members of Mzizima Lions Club will be there helping people. We will also have Cataract Surgeons Dr Upendo Morris and Dr Zainu Mumbaro. I can say the whole camp will have 35 people doing that that job from 17 to 21,” he said.

The Lions Club of Mzizima officials said the camps are held in rural parts of the country as many Health Centres and Hospitals at Regional and District Hospitals lack equipment and personnel, to cater and meet the required eye care services.

Also the financial factors also possess challenges to patients to access the needed medical treatment.

He said to successfully achieve their aim of providing sight services to needy people, Lions Club of Mzizima approaches cooperate officers, Banks Industries, Individuals and Communities for financial help .

Kurudart said on top of that they organise annual Play for Sight Golf Tournament which is used to raise money for the noble cause of helping needy.

He said this year event of play for charity golf tournament was held at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) on 20 February where more than 50m/- was raised for the purpose.

“Our Eye Camps are only conducted in Rural Areas with the consultantation of Ministry of Health, Eye Care Coordinator .

This is where the Eye Care Services are neglected. People in rural suffer for more than one/two years to get checked due to lack of transport and finances.

We Lions provide transport cost and all Eye Care Services free of cost which includes surgeries spectacles and medicines. To succefully achieve that we raise money through play for sight golf tournament and other activities ” he said .

He said in case that there is complicated eye case, the club refer such patience to CCBRT

“We are very thankful to all our donors for their kind support without whom no eye camp could have taken place. When conduct Eye camps in rural areas, Lion members of Mzizima do it at their own cost leaving behind their business and family for more than a week, ” he lamented.