Africa, Republic of Congo: Cataract
Joyce and Henri Samoutou on behalf of New Sight Eye Care, Impfondo, Republic of Congo

Aim

Empowering local people to pioneer the first and only eye surgical center in the north of the Republic of Congo

The project

The Republic of Congo is reported to have the highest incidence of blindness due to cataract in Africa. The north of the country lacks an ophthalmic surgery center, and there is a desperate need for an affordable eye care service to treat this reversible cause of blindness.

In partnership with the Pioneer Hospital in Impfondo, this project aims to establish an eye surgical center with a dedicated theatre, wards and outpatient clinics, to treat the growing backlog of cataract patients. The center will open with one ophthalmic technician and one cataract surgeon, trained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

The center will also provide a resource facility for the professional development of hospital staff and the wider community. Seminars will be conducted to raise sight awareness and help to integrate eye care into general medicine.

Update

Building supplies were floated up to Impfondo when the local river was high enough, which allowed the renovation of an old building into the new Eye Clinic, as well as the building of an extension with a covered waiting room. A water supply was created and medical supplies were delivered earlier in the year, including an operating microscope. Surgical eye services began for the first time shortly afterwards, in addition to the regular clinics, and training for local eye-care nurses and surgeons started so that one day they can take over management of the center.

Last update September 2013.