Improving Vision for Zambia

Between November 2015 and February 2016, our Vision for Zambia campaign raised £1.9m to strengthen child eye health services in the Copperbelt region of Zambia.

Three years on, your generous support has made some huge achievements. Thanks to the UK government matched funding scheme, each donation has had twice the impact - making a huge difference for children like Bridget's triplets.

Shekainah, Meredith & Stephanie were born with a squint, also known as strabismus. Fearing they may be mocked and struggle at school, she decided to keep the girls home.

At the age of 7, when one of them contracted malaria and was taken to the District Hospital for treatment, all three were referred to the main eye care centre at Kitwe and underwent surgery by an Orbis volunteer surgeon.

The girls are now back at school and happily socialising with friends.

Bridget now enthusiastically advocates for eye health at every opportunity. She even spoke to an audience of 3,000 people on World Sight Day 2018, which was broadcast on both national and local radio.

The girls continue to receive support from Orbis to ensure their vision remains healthy and Bridget is so thankful her children’s condition has been corrected.

Within three years, everyone who supported the Vision for Zambia campaign has helped to:

  • screen 68,287 children for eye conditions. Community awareness-raising activities, free paediatric services, and free transport provided by Orbis have led to a steady increase year on year.
  • provide 1,359 sight-saving surgeries , clearing a huge backlog of children waiting to be treated.
  • train 764 health workers to identify, refer and treat children with eye health conditions, increasing access to local eye health services and public confidence in the system.
  • provide 110 community film screenings to address common misconceptions about eye health. Traditional Healers and parents of children who have received treatment have played a vital role in providing advice and encouraging others to seek support.
  • inform 5.8 million people, via radio programmes, about eye health. A four-part phone-in discussion with an Ophthalmic Nurse prompted many calls to the radio station with questions.