The Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania organized a free eye camp over the Easter weekend (29 March to 1 April 2013), at Nachingwea in the southern region of Tanzania, more than 620 km from Dar es Salaam.  The camp was fully sponsored by Beta Charitable Trust of the United Kingdom.

Camp was set at Nachingwea Primary School; a kitchen was also set in the School for the meals for the eye camp workers and the patients from the day they were admitted for surgery until their discharged. Seven lodges were hired to accommodate doctors and volunteers the bus had to make rounds to pick them up. An advance party had travelled two days prior to the start of the Camp to make arrangements with the local officials and to reach out to the patients in nearby villages.

Nearly 3022 patients were screened and 112 cataract surgeries performed by Dr. Jerry and his team at the Nachingwea Hospital during the period. Another 140 patients will have their cataract surgery during the Union Day weekend (26th to 28th April 2013) by the same team of doctors and nurses.


nach_2Above - registration of patients Screening the patients for eye diseases

nach_3Prescribing spectacles                                                       Prescribing medicine

nach_4Surgeon at work                           District Commissioner in the theater

2,939 pairs of glasses were distributed free of charge, including 497 sunglasses were given out and 1388 units of medicine were prescribed and handed out to those who were screened.

The joys on the face of the patients was really awesome-some got sight after 5 and some after 7 years, they had lost hope of regaining eyesight totally.  They had labeled themselves as blind!  Imagine their joy in getting sight.  A young lady who was operated and could see well came all the way to the school to thank the organizers, Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania.

When we presented bed sheets and coats to operated patients, they thanked us by saying – "we are accepting the gift but the gift of eyesight was best the gift for them".

nach_5Patients after surgery in the Ward Painting awarded to the sponsor

On Easter Monday a brief farewell ceremony was held and the coordinator of the Eye Camp Alhaj Anverbhai Merali and Mama Keki Merali were honoured by Nachingwea DC and UWT (Women Organization) where they were presented with robes, Rooster and Hen. Additionally all Eye Camp participants were presented with Certificate of Appreciation by DC.  A special certificate was for Bilal Muslim Mission and a beautiful hand painted tableau displaying ''the art of farming by two local women" for the sponsorer, The Beta Charitable Trust of United Kingdom, which will be forwarded to them.

Bilal Mission of Tanzania reciprocated and presented a token of remembrance to the Nachingweya District Commissioner (DC) and other officials including hospital staff.

By the grace of Allah (SWT) the trip was a successful one despite of the lack of good accommodation and lack of water at the village - we had to buy water continuously for cooking, washing utensils, and making porridge for patients and bring water from far by our truck.

Our appreciation go to the DC, Mr. Regina Reginald Chonjo for her ever-ready cooperation in all fields of eye camp and the OCD for his support for providing security in securing our vehicles and of all eye camp equipment paraphernalia.

Our special thanks go to the whole team of doctors, nurses, volunteers of the Eye Camp for their tireless work and for their commitment towards the eye camps. We also wish to recognize and appreciate the donors of the various items, facilities and all those, who in one way or another facilitated the eye camp.

We pray to Allah (swt) to shower His blessings and grace to the team of doctors, volunteers, donors and well-wishers for their support, cooperation and kindness, Ameen.

We wish to thank Beta Charitable Trust of Essex, U.K. for fully sponsoring the EYE CAMP and CATARACT SURGERIES.  Message to BETA – "You have always been with us and have supported us for many years for this noble cause, we greatly appreciate your kindness, God bless".

There is a short clip on the Camp, those wishing to view this, one can log to:

Ahsante sana, tunashukuru sana

Report prepared by:
Anver Merali Alibhai
Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania
Free Eye Camp Coordinator

Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania

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