In 1996 CBR Effata started with assistance, consultations, operations and rehabilitation of people with visual impairments. First “Light for the World” assisted financially, presently “Jars of Clay”. For a large part the costs of treatment and rehabilitation are paid by the people themselves.
The eye-outreach-team of CBR Effata consists of Nigerian staff, all trained in “Primary Eye Care”, a training from the ECWA Eye Hospital in Kano. This team visits the villages in the target area – Izzi, Ebonyi – twice a week during their outreach. Most people can be treated locally (community based) with eye drops, eye glasses or counselling.
People who cannot be treated in the villages, are referred to the Centre of CBR Effata in Omorodu. Every months a Nigerian eye doctor comes to do consultations and operations, on average 150 consultations and 45 operations. Patients have to pay, only poor patients will be assisted financially. Most common operations are cataract and glaucoma.
When a person cannot be treated anymore, staff of CBR Effata will visit the person at home to give Orientation and Mobility training. In this way the person can function as independent as possible, e.g. by visiting the local market, church, mosque or meetings in the community.
In rural parts of Ebonyi State many people suffer from Riverblindness. To prevent this disease CBR Effata distributes, in cooperation with the Government, free medicines in many villages.
Staff of the Eye unit identifies many people in need of treatment, operation or rehabilitation. Many people come for consultation. In 2016 more than 7000 people came for consultation, 433 for operation and more than 1500 eyeglasses have been sold. Patients do come from far to the centre in Omorodu. The project is almost independent from foreign support.
New project in Guinea Bissau
In Guinea Bissau every market day eye patients are consulted in the centre in Bissoră and eye glasses sold.