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Janet started working in the eye health sector when she joined Operation Eyesight as a community health worker in 2015. After completing her first round of training, she began going door-to-door in Mandevu, Zambia to identify patients with eye condition and refer them to a vision centre that had been established in Mandevu compound. Janet then underwent a second round of training, where she was empowered with knowledge on cluster plans to conduct health promotion and education activities and provide support to people experiencing eye health issues or vision loss. In this role, Janet referred and counselled families who needed eye health treatment and helped dispel myths and misconceptions related to seeking care, such as concerns regarding the quality of care and prohibitive cost.
Janet has supported many members of her community throughout their eye health journeys, and thanks to her support, many of those beneficiaries now serve as eye health ambassadors, too. In turn, this has created a ripple effect of more and more people pursuing eye health treatment or seeking Janet out to ask questions or address their concerns.
When Operation Eyesight launched a new hospital-based community eye health project in Matero, Zambia, Janet offered her services to conduct door-to-door surveys in the area. Her skills and experience in counselling and encouraging patients to go for surgery have been invaluable, and she is passing her knowledge on to her new project partner, continuing to create a ripple effect of positive change.
Over the past six years, Janet has become a leader in her community and a trusted eye health resource. With her patience and dedication, she has influenced community behaviour towards eye health and encouraged more people to seek medical assistance. She has empowered many children, women and men to access the care needed to prevent blindness and restore sight – For All The World To See.
“I have learned a lot about eye health and would like to help more people who are suffering from treatable eye conditions to get help and be able to see again.”
– Janet Nkhoma