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Restoring older people’s sight in Sudan

28 May 2013

An older man gets his eyes tested in Sudan. (c) HelpAge International Since 2003, HelpAge International has supported older people and their families in Darfur by providing access to free medical services and eye care.

As part of our recent Age Demands Action on Health activities, HelpAge organised several eye camps in the outskirts of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The eye camps were organised in four of the poorest areas that used to be camps for internally displaced people. The medical services provided included free medication and surgery.

"HelpAge decided to support older people and their families in the most impoverished areas in Khartoum State and cooperated with the Humanitarian Aid Commission and Khartoum State Ministry of Health to implement the eye camps in the most in needy areas," said Bedreldin Shutta, HelpAge's Country Director in Sudan.

"Throughout the eye camp, 6,451 older people and their families received free medical consultations and drugs and 321 older people received eye surgery," said Hawaya Abd Allah, a HelpAge Medical Assistant.

I'm so glad to see my grandchildren again

The eye camps covered four areas in the Khartoum area and lasted for 12 days. There will also be follow up treatment for all the patients who received eye surgery for at least two months. This is to monitor the success of the intervention by ensuring that all patients with eye operations have no complications and, if any are found, they are treated promptly.

"For the past 15 years, I have been totally blind and I could not afford the cost of eye surgery. Now my sight has been restored in one eye and you cannot imagine how glad I am to see my grandchildren again. The doctor told me that my vision will improve gradually during the coming two months," said Fatouma, who is 75.

During the eye camp, doctors also advised all people aged 40 and above to regularly check their blood pressure. Patients received flyers that provide basic information on high blood pressure and its risks and some advice to reduce its dangers.

Find out more about our work to help older people in Sudan.

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Shakir Yahia
Job title: Communications Coordinator

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