Zambia

Zambia has one of the lowest GDPs on the planet, with three-quarters of its population living in poverty. Tragically, it also has a large blind population and one of the highest rates of childhood blindness in the world.

Success in Zambia

Orbis has been partnering with the Zambian Ministry of Health since 2010 to build capacity within the overburdened and under-resourced healthcare system. Orbis International: Zambia, a branch of Orbis International, was established in 2017 to support our work nationally.

In North-Western Province, Orbis works across all levels of eye health throughout the province’s eight districts, with a focus on increasing the cataract surgical rate and implementing trachoma control and prevention in areas with prevalence above 10%. Seeing is Believing, a Standard Chartered Bank initiative, initially funded the programme for five years. Thanks to your help and support we have helped increase the cataract surgical rate from 446 to 1,686 in the North-Western Province. We've also launched short films aimed at improved community awareness and engagement on eye health issues.

Our partnership with Kitwe Central Hospital led to the opening of a pediatric eye care center to provide specialized treatment and services for children with complex sight problems. As the only facility in the country that is appropriately equipped and staffed for pediatric eye care, Kitwe Eye Annexe, has become a referral point for the whole country and beyond.

The Human Resources for Eye Health (HReH) project at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka has shown significant success. The project focuses on building the institutional capacity of UTH to train high quality eye health workers and ensure competent and highly skilled faculty.

In addition, Orbis secured funding from Sightsavers in 2017 to implement mass drug administration for trachoma in the Kitwe district.

Our partnership with Kitwe Central Hospital led to the opening of a pediatric eye care center to provide specialized treatment and services for children with complex sight problems. As the only facility in the country that is appropriately equipped and staffed for pediatric eye care, it has become a referral point for the whole country and beyond.

Thanks to your help and support we have helped increase the cataract surgical rate from 446 to 1,686 in the North West Province. We've also launched a number of short films aimed at improved community awareness and engagement on eye health issues.

We're collaborating with hospitals in Zambia to strengthen their capabilities and resources to identify problems and manage patient follow-up care, so that children do not have to continually travel great distances for their check-ups.

What we're doing next

Orbis is developing community outreach programs in Zambia to ensure children in need are identified and given the best possible care as quickly as possible. We’re also running training programs to enhance skills in pediatric cataract and strabismus surgery, ophthalmic nursing skills and biomedical engineering equipment maintenance to ensure a robust and comprehensive eye care service for adults and children throughout the country.

In North-Western Province, we are focusing on increasing the cataract surgical rate and implementing trachoma control and prevention. Investment from HNA Group will see the rollout of the Africa Brightness Campaign in this province from 2018.

In Copperbelt Province Orbis has expanded its child eye health programme from tertiary level to community, primary and secondary levels of care in the province’s ten districts. In 2016, Orbis received a 3-year grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) through the Vision for Zambia match aid appeal.

You can improve eye care services in Zambia so more children like Racheal can see their mother for the first time

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Partners

  • Kitwe Central Hospital
  • Solwezi General Hospital
  • University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka