A two-day training workshop for 30 Kailahun and Kenema Districts Health Management Team (DHMT) members, organized by the Eastern Region eye care programme, has ended at the Eastern Polytechnic canteen in Kenema city.
The theme of the workshop was “Integration of Primary eye car into Primary health care’’.
Earlier in his opening address the Cataract surgeon and project manager Eye care Project for both the South and Eastern regions, Edward Sandi, said the training was timely and beneficial especially to those medical practitioners in the interior.
Mr Sandi disclosed that 50% of cataract and river blindness, which are the commonest of eye problems in Sierra Leone, were mostly found in the interior where there were no medical personnel.
He called on those who were suffering from eye diseases to stop using native herbs and to report to the nearest eye care centres for treatment, saying that it was to integrate the eye care programme into the primary health care sector.
Mr Sandi said the training would help the supervisors of the Peripheral Health Units (PHU) to effectively and efficiently do their work.
The District Medical Officer Kenema District, Dr Yankuba Madina Bah, said it was necessary to include the eye care programme into the primary health care, adding that the eye care programme had been in the hospital but that it could now benefit people in the rural communities.
Dr Bah added that many people were getting blind because of ignorance and thereby emphasized the need to educate the people. The cataract surgeon attached to the eastern province eye care project, Lansana Sheriff, said the training was aimed at building the capacity of the District Health Management Team to be able to transfer primary eye care knowledge to their health centres. He said with the training, people in the interior would acquire a better knowledge on how to take care of their eyes and that people in the rural communities would now benefit from the eye care programme.
He disclosed that the entire eastern region had only three ophthalmic nurses and one cataract surgeon, and that there was one nurse in Kailahun district and the other in Kenema while none in Kono. Mr Sheriff however encouraged participants to give their best upon their return to their various areas of operations.