Raising hospital's services to a new level
University Teaching Hospital – Tertiary Eye Care Centre of Excellence and Comprehensive Eye Care Project, Lusaka
The refurbished Ophthalmic Centre serves millions who need high-quality eye care in Zambia.
The major barriers to quality eye care services in Zambia are similar to those found throughout sub-Saharan Africa – human resource shortages, lack of quality equipment and poor infrastructure.
The University Teaching Hospital's Ophthalmic Centre in Zambia's capital city Lusaka is the country's principal training centre for eye care professionals. It provides training for several levels of eye care workers including primary eye care workers, ophthalmic assistants, ophthalmic nurses, ophthalmic clinical officers and ophthalmic theatre nurses. The hospital also provides outreach services to 15 districts in central and southern parts of the country, which boasts a population of 2.8 million.
Since 2004, Operation Eyesight has strengthened the hospital's ophthalmic services by providing equipment, medical supplies and support for external training of faculty. This assistance has helped increase the centre’s capacity to provide quality eye care services to the public and strengthen training capability. While staff members were doing their best in crowded quarters using old equipment, the demand was exceeding capacity.
Thanks to the generous support of dedicated donors, we refurbished the hospital’s Ophthalmic Centre in 2012, which is initially serving about 1.2 million residents in Lusaka and surrounding areas, with the goal of expanding its reach over time. The Zambian government supplied hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment and helped complete landscaping and air conditioning installations.
Services at the Centre now include medical and surgical care for those afflicted with eye diseases; training programs; outreach programs for school screening, diagnostic and treatment services; and education to increase the awareness of blindness as a major public health issue.