The new operating theatre will ensure eye health programmes in Tanzania are inclusive to people with all types of eye illnesses, including visual impairment, and that people with a long term visual impairment have access to wider opportunities in the community.
Ilembula Lutheran Hospital in partnership with the CBM Tanzania Country Office, officially opened its newly built operating theatre in a colorful ceremony in November 2014. This project is geared towards improving eye care services to the community around this area.
This was the celebration of a great milestone and collaboration that grew over the years, with key stakeholders among them Government of Tanzania. Those in attendance included AJ Mshashu- Government representative, Friederike Walz – CBM Germany, Davide Naggi, CBM Regional Office, Jane Msele, Country Coordination Office in Tanzania and staff.
Ilembula Eye clinic is within a larger general hospital which provides services like distribution of prescribed eye medicine, eye surgeries and optical equipments. The eye clinic also conducts periodic outreach programmes to Mbeya, Njombe and parts of Iringa region. Before the construction of this operating theatre, the eye department depended on CCBRT hospital in Dar es Salaam for referrals and tertiary eye care. However, with this new development patients will have easier access to these much needed services.
Contribution from well wishers
The Guest of Honor, Bishop Isaya Mengele, was pleased to conduct the ceremony and went ahead to bless the building, equipment and staff who have been mandated to assist patients suffering from eye ailments.
CBM Germany’s representative, Friederike Walz was happy to attend the ceremony Mrs. Ingeborg Gerlinde Kauther, a well wisher who donated EUR 60,000 (about Tsh. 132,972,000) towards the construction works. This donation was used to cover part of the construction work and buying of hospital equipment.
Speaking on behalf of Mrs. Kauther, Ms. Walz expressed her gratitude to the people of Tanzania for working with the hospital to realize this big dream. ‘’She could not make it but sent her regards to you. Her wish is for this surgical center’s construction to be complete and in operation to serve the communities in this area.’’
Most people with treatable eye health problems will appreciate the state of the art operation theatre and this facility will go a long way to ensure quality service delivery. The new operating theatre will ensure eye health programmes in Tanzania are inclusive of people with all types of disabilities, including vision impairment, and that people with a long term vision impairment access their right to wider opportunities.