The Coordinated Approach to Community Health (CATCH) programme enables those attending Sightsavers’ trachoma screening programmes to bediagnosed, referred and given access to the treatment they need for other eye health conditions they may have. The programme aims to immediately treat minor eye problems and refer more complex conditions, including cataracts, to local health facilities for treatment.
CATCH is funded by the UK government and currently operates in five countries. One of the most recent camps took place in Mozambique, reaching more than 20 communities in the districts of Nacala-Porto and Nacala-a-Velha. In just 15 days, 185 cataract surgeries were carried out by the team (pictured above), 43 people were treated for bacterial conjunctivitis and 16 people were referred to a health facility.
Vision Spring USA donated 55,000 pairs of reading glasses to be distributed through the programme, with 73 pairs being given directly to patients at the Mozambique camp.
One recipient was Virginia Saquina, a 50 year-old farmer. She had been having problems with her sight for two years but was unable to make the 200km journey to collect her glasses from Nampula Central Hospital because of a lack of money. The glasses she received at the camp have improved her quality of life, helping her to read her bible, and read and write text messages on her phone.
Read more about the CATCH programme.
Six leading organisations have come together under the banner ‘Vision for the Commonwealth’ to ask Commonwealth leaders to bring eye care to all.