in collaboration with CBM Italia
South Sudan is a country that has been in the international spotlight for years because of ten-year civil conflicts that afflict him and for the consequences they have on the population. A population where life expectancy is among the lowest in the world (About 54 years old) and also this year a very high price was paid because of the cfood aresty which has affected 60% of citizens. In South Sudan there is a cycle that strongly links disability to poverty and vice versa. Alongside the population, CBM operates, humanitarian organization committed to the prevention and treatment of blindness and avoidable disability. It is no coincidence that the80% of people with disabilities around the world are in developing countries. In South Sudan, treating and preventing medical diseases, even those of simple diagnosis, is not easy. CBM is an international humanitarian organization with a long history: since 1908, the year of its foundation, it has been involved in Africa, Latin America and Asia to promote not only the right to health, but also the inclusion of people with disabilities.
The CBM Italia Onlus project in South Sudan
In 2020 CBM launched the campaign Break the Cycle, which aims to break the cycle that links poverty to disability. Because for those with a disability in developing countries it is even more difficult to get out of poverty and in turn those who live in poverty are more likely to experience / have a disability. The Break the Cycle campaign aims to break this cycle by supporting CBM projects of health, education, independent life in developing countries, such as in South Sudan.
In this context, “BECause Eye Care“, In collaboration with the partners CUAMM and CORDAID and the Ministry of Health of the State of Central Equatoria, supported by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, a three-year project (2018-2021) which aims not only to extend care for as many people as possible, but also to raise awareness of schools and communities so that people with disabilities are not marginalized.
CBM has its main artery in BEC Eye Center, located in the South Sudanese capital, Juba; a cutting-edge center specialized in the treatment of various pathologies, equipped with a surgical department. At this center, CBM is committed to supporting health activities in other parts of the country and more precisely in the States Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria, where basic ophthalmological services are provided through mobile units also equipped with the possibility of providing surgical assistance and at ophthalmological centers; the most serious cases are treated at the BEC Center, which also specializes in the training of health personnel.
The results of the project
Let’s see the expected results for the end of 2021:
● 40,800 people visited and treated.
● 5,000 patients treated in the Mobile Units (double those achieved in December 2020).
● 2,000 patients operated on at the BEC Eye Center …
● 45 teachers trained in Sight Health.
● 117 figures trained in Primary Eye Care.
● awareness raising events in Italy thanks also to research in collaboration with the Milan “Bicocca” University and the ON / OFF association.
● 63,200 people sensitized on sight health.
The goals are ambitious. But in South Sudan too much time often passes from the onset of the disease to its cure. This is why it is important to act quickly.
The story of little William Peter
William Peter is a one month old baby coming from the State of Western Equatoria. The father is a farmer and the 20-year-old mother is a housewife. For the child they face the risky journey that leads from Lui Hospital to Juba, where there is the BEC Eye Center for examinations: William has glaucoma in his right eye and does not see well in his left eye as well. The diagnosis is confirmed and transfer to the hospital is necessary Mengo Eye Hospital in Uganda, for which CBM is activated.
At the Ugandan hospital it is found that theright eye is not operable due to the damage caused by glaucoma, while it is possible to intervene on the accident, the only hope to guarantee sight to the child.
Upon returning to Juba, the doctor of the BEC Ophthalmology Center found that the surgery on his left eye was successful. Peter and his parents go home; the child is monitored at Lui’s clinic.
Thanks to the synergy between the BEC center in South Sudan, which deals with the identification, analysis of the pathology, transport to Uganda and post-operative monitoring, and the Mengo Hospital in Uganda, it was possible to ensure William Peter the possibility of a better future.