It’s vital to identify conditions such as cataracts or trachoma early on, as they can cause lasting damage and even lead to permanent blindness. The screenings also help to identify school children with refractive error, and help to spread the word about the importance of eye health.
When we arrive at Jongowe School, students fill the buildings and outside corridors. Dr Rajab and his colleagues came here three weeks ago to train the secondary school teachers.
By the time we arrive, those students who were identified as potentially having low vision or eye conditions are lined up along the terrace and waiting patiently to be tested and examined by the eye specialists.
Over the course of the morning and early afternoon, the team see 67 children in total. Of those, 28 need spectacles, but only 19 are fitted with them.
Unfortunately the number of children in need is larger than anticipated, and the team hasn’t brought enough, so a teacher will travel to the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar Town on Monday to pick up sets for nine remaining students.
Among those who got their spectacles was 18-year-old Nachum.