The St. Andrews Hospital of the Anglican Church in Mtunthama, Kasungu this week embarked on free eye operations on about 100 patients, most of them the elderly.
According to the Hospital Administrator, Chris Zambira, the hospital has been conducting eye operations to about 30 patients every month since July 2014 but he said this was the first time to have such mass campaign.
Zambira disclosed that the exercise, from Monday up to Saturday, was a prelude to the hospital’s 15th Anniversary celebrations to be held on July 30 this year.
“We did not have the usual eye operations during the month of June; we wanted to have ample time to prepare for this special exercise and we are very happy that we have indeed made it,” explained Zambira in an interview.
“It is a very exciting moment for us especially considering that on the 30th of July we will be celebrating 15 years of good health services to the surrounding communities.
The monthly eye surgeries at St. Andrews is an initiative of Medic Malawi, a small charity organization based in the UK and run by former Kamuzu Academy Head Teacher, Steven Drew, who also came to appreciate the mass campaign and the impact the initiative was having on people’s lives.
In an interview, Drew said he was very impressed with the eye surgeries and how they were transforming people’s lives – especially the elderly.
He said Medic Malawi source funds from various institutions and individuals in the UK who donate earnestly every month for the running of the eye surgery project and that with what he witnessed, there would be more money coming.
Said the former Kamuzu Academy Head; “I have come with students from Shrewsbury School who financed the construction of the eye hospital and every month they contribute towards the running of the monthly eye operations.
“The reason I brought them here was for them to see for themselves what a wonderful job their money is doing here and when they get back to England they will tell the story to their parents and teachers and they will give me more money for the project.”
Drew also hailed a team of medical staff from Kamuzu Central Hospital led by Principal Ophthalmologist, Dr. Amos Nyaka – who also happens to be Drew’s former student at Kamuzu Academy – for their support in every month’s eye surgeries adding that without their support the project would stall.
Some of the elderly patients who were successfully operated on said they were extremely happy to have their sight back – a thing they said they had given hope on long before.
“It’s very good to see again and I’m so excited that I want to see everything at once: all the places I have been to before, and all the people I haven’t seen for so long. I cannot wait to do that,” said one elderly woman visibly excited.
Nearly 1,200 people from surrounding areas in Kasungu who had eye problems have had their sight restored free of charge since the monthly operations commenced in 2014, according to the hospital’s Chief Clinical Officer, Peter Minjale.
St. Andrew’s Hospital also runs various charity programmes among them feeding, orphanage and hunger mitigation project.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :