By: Kebba AF Touray
The PDOIS Councillor for the Banjul Newtown East Ward Modou Touray, during the weekend, teamed up with ‘OneSight’ and the National Eye-Care Health Program, to offer eye screening services to the people of the Ward.
Touray in an interview with this reporter said, this is in fulfilment of his promise to help his people gain better vision; that without clear and proper vision, all other engagements will doom.
He said the service is free of charge, and is meant to enable the visually challenge people to regain normal health visually, and to leave a comfortable life; that this will assist them in carrying out their activities with ease. He disclosed that the service is not limited to his ward only, but all the nine Wards in Banjul.
“We planned to have an MOU with ‘OneSight’ so that we can hold this health care service to residents quarterly. Because without good vision, an individual is nowhere. Being a Councillor is not limited to the provision of street lights, water and cleaning gutters. There is more to it in enhancing the welfare of the people,” he said.
He thanked the Mayor of Banjul Rohey Malick Lowe and ‘OneSight’ and his fellow Councillors, for their supportive and collaborative role towards the success of the event, and called on other Councillors across the country, to emulate from them.
Vincent Mendy, the Country Manager of ‘OneSight’ Gambia, said they have targeted various centers across the country with the objective of providing visual health care services to the people, particularly the visually challenged people across the length and breadth of the country.
“In rendering the services to the affected people, there are three spots in our operations, starting with the first test for eye, the second is the spot test for other eye conditions and final spot test determines the usage of glasses,” he explained.
He decried mobility and infrastructure as some of their challenges that frustrates their efforts and called for interventions of key stakeholders in mitigating these challenges to ensure continuity of their work to make it a sustainable program. He appealed to the people with vision challenges, to adhere to the rules of the treatment procedures.
Muhammed Lamin F Kinteh, Marketing and Awareness Campaign Officer of ‘OneSight’, further elucidated that it is an outreach exercise with the motive to provide accessibility to eye patients who do not have the means to reach and get the services, and as well to mark World Sight Week. He thanked the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for the support rendered them and called for more of such collaboration.
Other interviewees include US Health Expert from the University of Vermont Medical Center, who hailed their collaboration with their Gambian counterparts which dates back to 2012, and as well their support to such worthy cause.