Dr Mutati’s Oculus Foundation: a beacon of hope for eye health in Zambia

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FOUNDED in 2022 by renowned ophthalmologist Dr Grace Chipalo Mutati, the Oculus Foundation tackles the issue at its core through four key pillars: training eye care specialists, conducting community outreach programs, fostering research, and upholding strong core values.

Driven by a deep passion for eye health, Dr Mutati, who also runs the Kumenso Eye clinic in Lusaka, established the foundation after recognizing the urgent need to assist Government’s efforts in alleviating avoidable blindness in Zambia. 

Recognizing the critical shortage of eye care professionals, Dr. Mutati told Kalemba in an interview that they prioritise the training of new specialists.

The foundation will provide financial and technical support to students participating in outreach programmes.

 “The more we expose young doctors and nurses on training to undertake service delivery in Hospitals and communities without an ophthalmologist,” she explains, ” The finer their skills become. In addition they are providing quality eye health.”

This not only increases access to care in the present but also cultivates a future generation of dedicated specialists committed to serving their communities.

Oculus foundation’s goal is the advancement of ophthalmology for betterment of society. 

Dr Mutati acknowledges the limited access to eye care professionals in Zambia.

To address this, the foundation will conduct outreach programmes in areas lacking Ophthalmologists, offering essential services, and working with The Ministry of Health will lay groundwork for establishing permanent eye Health units in provincial hospitals as more specialists are trained.

The foundation also recognises the impact of technology on eye Health, the plan is to collaborate with government initiatives and NGOs to leverage technology and expand their reach, ensuring no community is left behind in the fight for better eye health.

Meanwhile Dr Mutati emphasised the importance of awareness. 

“Let’s double our efforts on prevention of disease by increasing public awareness and community participation,” emphasized Dr Mutati.

“Early detection of conditions like glaucoma allows for timely intervention, preventing irreversible vision loss. People need to understand that various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and conditions like diabetes, can impact Eye health,” she said.

Therefore the foundation committed to work tirelessly in raising awareness about eye conditions, dispel myths, and promote regular eye check-ups to mitigate the impact of modern living on vision.

With a dedicated team and a clear vision, Oculus Foundation is shining a light on eye care in Zambia’s communities.

By Moses Makwaya

Kalemba February 5, 2024

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