SEE launched a partnership in June 2014 with Caring Hearts Pediatrics in the Chongwe District of the Lusaka Province, where we provide essential medical supplies and technical support to patients and medical professionals in Zambia.
In Zambia, SEE continues to work in two main locations: Lufwanyama District Hospital and Chifundo Clinic in Lusaka. In 2017, SEE’s team was led by Dr. Diedrichsen in Chifundo, where they performed 60 sight-restoring surgeries and screened a total of 375 patients. In September 2017 at the Lufwanyama District Hospital, a team led by SEE volunteer surgeon Dr. Stone provided vital eye care screenings to 500 patients and gave 77 patients free sight-restoring surgery in just 5 days.
Zambia is a landlocked country located in southern Africa and is recognized as one of the fastest economically reformed countries in the continent. However, the general state of healthcare in Zambia is still quite poor and health facilities are heavily underfunded. Many Zambian doctors leave the public sector to work outside the country or in private health facilities, leaving the public sector with few skilled professionals.
In the rural and remote areas of Zambia, most communities rely on small government-run community health centers and rural health posts. With the leading causes of blindness being vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, inadequate clean water and sanitation, and lack of access to healthcare facilities, there is a strong correlation between poverty and blindness in Zambia.
Blindness has had a significant impact on the country’s economic and social development, causing the government of Zambia to declare blindness prevention a priority in health care.