Malawi leader hails Daeyang Luke Hospital for tackling blindness

President Joyce Banda has commended the effort taken by the Daeyang Luke Hospital in curbing and prevent the problem of blindness in the country through the Blindness Zero Mission (B0M) project which seeks bring back the loss of sight as well as creating an opportunity to prevent it.

Speaking when she presided over the inauguration of the blindness prevention project and the launch of the Joyce Banda Library here at the Daeyang Luke Hospital Nursing in the capital Lilongwe, the Malawi leader said this is a monumental achievement in the history of blindness prevention caused by cataract which is responsible for about 50 per cent of the total blindness, trachoma and other eye conditions.

“It is also important for all of us to know that Malawi suffers from the high prevalence of Trachoma, the disease responsible for blindness of numerous children and their care giving mothers,” she said.

According to 2008 Housing and Population Census, Malawi has about 136,000 blind people with  80 per cent of all them due to preventable or treatable conditions.

JB being briefed on the state-of-the-art equipment at the centre
JB being briefed on the state-of-the-art equipment at the centre

“We must all know that blindness significantly contributes to the macroeconomic costs of a country though ill health, human capital productivity loss therefore there is need for long-term rehabilitation, as well as the need for special education,” said President Banda.

President Banda also said blindness and visual impairment result in lower quality of life and contributes to increasing poverty levels for individuals affected, their families and the society at large.

“Blindness is therefore associated with lower than average life expectancy in developing country settings,” she said.

The Four-year Blindness Zero Mission Project will later be handed over to the Government

“I know that within the four years, our capacity and profound basis would have been established to provide comprehensive eye care services that includes trachoma treatment and prevention covering the entire country thereby freeing the at risk populations from all treatable and preventable blindness”.

President Banda however said Malawi Government is actively addressing trachoma in various districts.

“We are currently providing the drug called Zithromax through improved coordination amongst stakeholders”.

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