From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Pademba Road inmates benefit from free eye care
By Augustine Samba
Oct 15, 2010, 17:04

As part of activities ahead of the World Sight Day and World White Cane Day on the 14th October, 2010, inmates with eye problems were given free examination and treatment by a group of health care providers. Leading the campaign at the prisons was AdvocAid, a non-governmental organization that has been collaborating with eye care stakeholders such as Sight Savers, Choithrams Hospital and UMC Eye hospital among others to engage in activities to mark the commemoration of World Sight Day.

 

The team made the visitation yesterday, Wednesday 13th.  It was a rare opportunity for prisoners and prison officers to benefit from such free treatment.

 

AdvoAid executive director, Sabrina Mahtani who spoke to the press after the event said her organization is a local NGO that provides support to female detainees and their children. “It was founded in 2006 with the aim of strengthening access to justice for women, and to also empower them through education and post prison support in skills training to become active citizens again in society. She said she saw the need for AdvoAid to join hands with the other partners to provider free eye care for those female prisoners in need in line with the celebration.


She expressed her gratefulness to the UK and Canada for providing sponsorship to the organization for most of their projects to fight for the rights of women.  “With their help, AdvoAid officials are always present in all the prisons in Sierra Leone to monitor situations,” she concluded.

 

Dr. Moarther Vandy of Sight Saver, Connaught Hospital briefly hinted on world sight day as the day held very second Thursday of October to highlight the importance of blindness and its prevention. He said those living with blindness or poor sight demand awareness of the need for social inclusion.


On the whole, the medical team of both Sierra Leoneans and Chinese said it was their very first opportunity of coming in contact with prisoners in world sight day celebrations.



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