Hundreds of Kasempa residents yesterday turned up to have their eyes screened for free as a way of commemorating World Sight Day.

Among the services that were provided were free eye care services, such as giving of free spectacles, drug treatment, screening and surgery.

Officiating at the occasion, Health Minister, Joseph Kasonde, reaffirmed government’s vision to eliminate avoidable blindness through a global campaign.

Speaking through North-western Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Alfred Chiingi, Dr Kasonde noted that government’s commitment follows an increase in the number of blind people which is estimated to be 150,000 the whole country.

Dr Kasonde cited Kasempa district as having 10.1 per cent prevalence rate of trachoma and that phase one of mass drug administration has already been concluded.

He further commended standard Charted Bank, Vision Aid overseas and ORBIS Africa for the support they have rendered in eliminating blindness and for facilitating the celebrations.

And ORBIS Africa Director for Communications, Hellen White, encouraged people to seek appropriate medical attention after noticing changes in the vision and reduce on unnecessary blindness.

Ms White promised to strengthen on educational, screening and referral roles in North- western Province in the next two years in order to ensure early detection of eye problems.

Meanwhile, Standard Charted Bank Head of Corporate Affairs, Christine Matambo, promised to continue working with government and the private sector in reducing eye problems under a program called ‘seeing is believing’ which is being implemented in over 20 countries including Africa.

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