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Bilingual Primary Eye Care Workshop for West Africa Ended

Apr 8, 2008, 6:26 AM | Article By: By Lamin Darboe

A three-day workshop on bilingual primary eye care for West Africa ended recently. It was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Senegambia and it was organised by Sight Savers International (SSI).

The workshop brought people from 15 African nations, namely: Niger, Nigeria, Zanzibar, Zambia, The Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, together. Speaking at the closing ceremony of the workshop the Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Malick Njie thanked the organisers for choosing The Gambia as the venue for this international workshop. He revealed that The Gambia adopted the Primary Health Care (PHC) programme in 1979 following the Alma-Ata Declaration Of 1978. Subsequently the programme on immunisation was established in 1982 and was integrated with the maternal and childcare programme for a more cost effective and efficient system. He further revealed that there has been a reduction in child mortality based on the targeted diseases since then. "Remarkable progress was made in immunisation coverage with a considerate reduction in child morality" Mr. Njie stated.

For his part the executive officer of SSI, Mr. Benedict Beni said the aim of the workshop was to develop primary eye care in West Africa. He disclosed that the workshop was also meant to identify priority actions and integrate blindness prevention in the existing PHC programme.

He also advised the participants to make good use of the knowledge gained from the workshop and share it with their communities.