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Ophthalmologists for Africa: Polish ophthalmologists on missions

Poster Details

First Author: M.Hajduga POLAND

Co Author(s):                        

Abstract Details


The main objective of the action is examination of eyesight of children and adults in Africa. Volunteers test eyesight, diagnose eye diseases and also give away glasses and eye drops.


Conditions in most places in Africa are very difficult and medical care stands at a low level. Citizens of many regions do not have a possibility of using any doctor's help. Diseases, hunger, contaminated water and no medicine – this is everyday life in the poorest regions of the world.


The action “Ophthalmologists for Africa” began in 2012 with examination of young Cameroonians' eyesight. Before each mission, meetings for volunteers are organized, and used glasses are collected and segregated. Every year, more and more people join the action to help. The on-site action is supported by local missionaries, who inform communities and schools and give assistance to the volunteers in their efforts.


By the end of 2017, 18 missions were held, (in which 15 volunteers participated). Thanks to our action, thousands of doses of medicines and about 40,000 glasses were sent to various parts of Africa. In 2013, "Ophthalmologists for Africa" launched the first Polish ophthalmology office in Abong-Mbang, Cameroon. Furthermore, in 2016, thanks to the project co-financed under the Polish development cooperation program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, the Eye and Dental Clinic "Tazama na tabasamu" ("Look and smile") was opened in Kiabakari, Tanzania.


Many children and adults have benefited from help by having their eyesight examined, receiving glasses or having their eye disease diagnosed. Still, the number of people that can be helped is miniscule in comparison to the actual need. The resources that can be taken on a mission are limited and not everyone can be helped. Even more significant is the problem of people afflicted with diseases which cannot addressed without surgery. This means that there is a lot of work to be done, but it is all worth it. The patient’s gratitude is huge.

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