A total of 936 Primary Health Workers (Primary Health Nurses and Village Health Workers) were trained in 13 districts of Manicaland and Mashonaland West Provinces. The Primary Health Workers (PHWs) were trained on cataract case finding in order to identify cataracts with the aim of increasing the cataract surgical output in the two provinces.
In addition, the PHWs were trained on child eye health and preventative eye health in order to support awareness on eye conditions and promote access to services.
While Zimbabweans continue to experience the burden of eye conditions such as cataracts due to barriers such as cost of surgery and fear, the Seeing is Believing Project has subsidized the cost of cataract surgery at Sakubva Eye Unit (Manicaland Province), Norton Eye Unit (Mashonaland West Province) and Sekuru Kaguvi Hospital – Children’s Eye Unit.
In addition, the government policy provides free of charge services to children below five years and adults above 65 years.
The Primary Health Care (PHC) system in Zimbabwe consists of community health workers and health centres.
The Village Health Workers (VHWs) are the most common cadre and the link between communities and health services. The training of primary health workers on cataract case finding will support the identification of cataracts and other eye conditions and promote the referral of patients to access eye health services.