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MUB, MHEN URGE GOVT TO INCREASE EYE SURGERY BENEFICIARIES

The Malawi Union for the Blind (MUB) and the Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) are urging the Malawi Government to increase the number of beneficiaries scheduled for Brazilian-funded eye surgeries in the next two months.

On Tuesday, Brazil’s Honorary Consul to Malawi, Breno Nogueira, revealed plans to perform 1,000 eye surgeries and initiate the assessment of potential recipients.

Nogueira, during a meeting with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera, at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, expressed interest in establishing an Eye Surgery Clinic within the country.

A study by the Public Library of Science revealed that 3.3 percent of Malawi’s population aged over 50 years is blind, with cataracts, glaucoma, and non-trachomatous corneal scarring being the primary causes.

Ezekiel Kumwenda, Executive Director of MUB, emphasised the urgency of increasing the beneficiaries, pointing to their statistics indicating approximately one million people in Malawi with eye defects, with the special attention needed for school-going children.

Kumwenda stressed that maintaining good eyesight is crucial for national development, urging a reconsideration of beneficiaries due to the significant population of nearly 20 million in Malawi.

In response, MEHN highlighted the need for sustained support and collaborative involvement of other health organisations to broaden the initiative’s reach.

MHEN’s Executive Director, George Jobe, highlighted the shortage of eye doctors in Malawi, urging reinforcement from international partners.

Jobe expressed the desire to expand operations to more individuals, contingent on available resources and collective assistance.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda previously stated that inadequate healthcare often leads to blindness among Malawians.

 

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