Busisiwe Mzyece Head of Programmes Zimbabwe Council for the Blind
Zimbabwe Council for the Blind (ZCfB) launched a workplace screening programme in April this year. The aim of this programme was to promote eye health and raise awareness about the importance of taking care of our eyesight while at work. This initiative was part of the larger theme #LoveYourEyesAtWork, which emphasized on the significance of having a healthy workforce.
As part of their networking strategy, ZCfB joined the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in 2022. This partnership has proven to be beneficial to both the organization and the country. One notable collaboration that emerged from this partnership was with OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation (OSELF), a renowned eye care organization.
The ZCfB/OSELF clinic, held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in the month of September 2023, saw the provision of 1846 free consultations, offering much-needed eye care services to individuals in need. Additionally, 1794 free pairs of spectacles were dispensed to those who required them.
One particularly inspiring story is that of a beneficiary from the workplace screening programme. Mr Moses Muchemwa, an employee at one of the security companies in Bulawayo, who was physically assaulted on duty. The ZCfB team visited his workplace, and he was prescribed spectacles. Unfortunately, he could not afford these much-needed spectacles even though they were heavily subsidized for the workplace programme. On the 19th of September Mr Moses heard of the clinic which was being run by ZCfB in collaboration with OSELF, which offered free consultation as well as free spectacles. He could not let this opportunity pass him by. He went through an extensive consultation process and again was seen to need spectacles. This time not only was he prescribed spectacles, but he was given three pairs of spectacles (readers, distance spectacles and sunglasses). Moses is amongst the other 1,846 clients that benefited from this collaboration. All thanks to IAPB for availing the platform for partners within Eye health to network and form collaborations.
This collaboration between ZCfB and OSELF exemplifies the positive impact that partnerships can have on organizations and communities. By working together, these two organisations were able to provide much-needed eye care services and improve the vision of individuals who otherwise may not have had access to such services.