Overbey, president and executive director of Onesight International, Friday
said at a press briefing at the Serrekunda hospital that organisation is
committed to the mission of combatting eye infections in the country by
establishing vision centers in communities.
She expressed delight for being part of the journey that advocates for every Gambian to have access to high quality and affordable vision care centers, saying that Onesight believes in a world where access to vision care is no longer a barrier.
“There is currently 1.1 billion people around the globe who need eye glasses but do not have access to them. Onesight is working to solve that and we realized that by doing that we needed to develop more permanent solution, most especially in human capital.”
She said Onesight has expanded their vision centers in 10 countries and opened over 113 vision centers and by the end of this year, they hope to provide access to 38 million people around the world, saying, “none of these couldn’t have been possible without the partnership we have in The Gambia.”
Dr. Aba Hydara, chief executive officer and coordinator of the national eye health programme, reiterated that Sheikh Zayed is a government public hospital that was officially opened in February 2007. He said it is a tertiary eye center mandated to give services in patience treatment, training, research and resource mobilisation. “Over the past years, we have almost thirty thousand out patience, conducted over fifty thousand surgeries; issued almost fifteen thousand spectacles and about five thousand children have received sight restored surgery.”
He said with the coming of Onesight, they have maintained leadership in eye care delivery in the country, saying that Sheikh Zayed is the epic of eye care delivery in the country and they want more high quality services in the country.
Isatou Jobe, senior optometrist at Sheikh Zayed Regional Eye Care Center explained that Sheikh Zayed started in 2010, when the national eye health programme wanted to upgrade perfectionists to advance diplomat level. “The center has been doing outreach programmes in all the regions and we have opened free eye vision center in Bwiam, Soma, Brikama, Gunjur, Farafenni and Basse. From the data gathered, those are the most strategic places to setup vision centers.”