An eye-specialist attends to a million people in Tanzania: medics


Dodoma. Tanzania has 55 eye specialists who attend to over 50 million Tanzanians.

The number is equivalent to one specialist attending one million people, the highest ratio as compared the World Health Organization (WHO) stipulations, requiring one doctor to attend 400,000 people.

The acting president of eye specialists’ association Dr Cyprian Gabriel said most of the experts work in urban areas where they are largely challenged by the lack of necessary medical equipment.

According to him, the situation is worse in rural areas where the services are completely absent.

Dr Gabriel was speaking on Sunday, October 7 during the commemoration of the World Sight Day.

In his brief report on the situation of eye diseases in the country, he said, “The problem is huge contrary to what most people believe. But the number of eye experts in the country is so small…….the situation is alarming in rural areas.”

He said fake eye experts have been reported in various parts of the country. This, he noted, escalates the problem.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Eliud Eliakimu said sight complications statistics were higher across the world and pointed out that 255 million people are suffering from the disease.

He declared a nationwide crackdown on bogus experts, ordering arrest and immediate arraignment.

“These people are the cause of blindness to majority of Tanzanians even when patients could be treated and cured,” he said.