The role of community health workers in primary eye care cannot be overemphasized. It is in that light that the Inclusive Eye Health Project of the CBC Health Services organized a one-day workshop for this group of health workers on primary eye health.
The workshop brought together over 50 health workers from Santa, Tubah, Bafut, Wum, and Nkambe Health Districts in the Northwest Region. Its main objective was to build the capacities of community health workers in the provision of primary eye care, health education, referrals of chronic eye conditions to primary eye centers, and community outreach mobilization.
Mr. Warri Denis, Deputy Director for Administration and Finance (DDAF) while declaring the workshop open, appreciated the community health workers for partnering with the CBC Health Services in promoting its mission statement in their different communities. “You are important actors in providing primary eye care in their communities,” Mr. Warri said.
During the workshop, facilitators from the Nkwen Baptist Health Center’s Eye Department schooled participants on basic primary eye care, health education, and the organization of outreach screening. Participants were given tools and educated on how to use the tools to facilitate their work
Mr. Tamon James, Coordinator of the Inclusive Eye Project said the choice of community health workers is because they have the first contact with the community. Thus, they can act as a liaison between the community and the health centers.
“After this training, the health workers are expected to take an active part in the provision of primary eye care in their communities, organize outreaches in collaboration with the primary eye health district and Community Based Rehabilitation field workers, as well as identify persons with visual impairment and link them to rehabilitation services,” he stressed.
Ndi Dianna, a Participant from St. Patrick Health Center Bishua in Nkambe said “the workshop has been an eye opener for me, it has equipped me with skills to be able to offer primary eye care in my community”
On his part, Anyam John from Esu in Wum says “I have mapped out areas in my community and identified social gathering in which I will carry out health talks on eye care.” I look forward to collaborating with community stakeholders to mobilize the community to benefit from planned outreach screenings, he said
It should be noted that, since the start of the implementation of the Inclusive Eye Care Project, many stakeholders such as nurses, Organization of Persons Disabilities, and community health workers have been trained to improve access to eye care.
This workshop organized with support from CBM took place at the Baptist Center Nkwen Bamenda on 22nd July 2022.