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Selemani Mkapila

Selemani is one of the ophthalmic nurses that took part in the eye camp in Sumbawanga, which is located in the southwestern part of Tanzania in a very rural region called Rukwa. For the last two years, a European team of nurses and doctors is flying to Sumbawanga to work closely together with local nurses and surgeons. The work is mostly done by the local team and the European team only intervenes supportively. The goal of the eye camp is to contribute to the prevention of avoidable blindness in the Western regions of Tanzania by establishing a good and sustainable eye health care system. In 2019, Selemani started a training programme at Mvumi Hospital in the eye department to become an ophthalmic nurse and finished his diploma as an ophthalmic nurse.

During the eye camp, Selemani supported the team by screening the patients, examining the patients with a sit lamp and assisting the surgeons during operations. Selemani is very adaptive, eager to learn and brings in his own ideas and approaches. During the teaching and training camp, Selemani showed his interest in eye health care and ambition to extend his knowledge. After finishing the ophthalmic nurse training, Selemani established a screening programme school and is now working in a primary care unit where he screens patients and refers selected patients to the eye clinic. In addition to that, Selemani does eye health briefing at schools and local communities where he raises awareness about eye health care. He is eager to create new possibilities and approaches in order to improve the eye health care situation in Tanzania.

“Provision of Eye health services in my region and in particular the health facility I am working, is a new unit that has been introduced and made me as the first trainee among Human Resources for Eye Health. In such setting needs very innovative ways of provision of the respective services. In order to ensure that we reach as many as possible clients for eye care and contribute on prevention of blindness, I have been ensuring that I do propose various ways including OPD eye health briefing, school to school awareness raising and community meetings for Eye health education. All aim at ensuring eye health education is spread widely, screenings are conducted and while those whom I can treat; while for those who need advanced eye health services, referrals are provided. I trust that in doing so, I will highly contribute to prevent blindness in my district, region and country.”

– Selemani Mkapila