By CLEVER ZULU-
A TEAM of eye specialists from Israel has attended to more than 1,000 eye patients in Muchinga Province.
The team, which conducted 40 eye surgeries, was in Zambia from May 11 under the auspices of the Muchinga Foundation in partnership with Israel’s foreign affairs ministry and the country’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
Last year, Israel’s Honorary Consul Ronit Hershkovitz led a delegation from Tel Aviv on a fact finding mission to Mpika, Chinsali and Shiwan’gandu to ascertain the prevalence of eye problems after which the specialists promised to return to conduct free eye services.
“We are overwhelmed that our colleagues promised to conduct free eye surgeries and in no time they are back to carry out the mission. We also wish to ask our comrades to extend the courtesy to Mafinga, Chama, Isoka and Nakonde,” Muchinga Foundation chairperson Lebi Mwamba said.
Mr Mwamba said the foundation intends to take advantage of the good environment created by Government in Muchinga Province to build an eye clinic and a hotel, adding that land has since been acquired for the project.
The Israeli specialists who were based at Mpika District Hospital conducted operations to restore sight, treated cataract related conditions in conjunction with the district medical officers and representatives from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
The delegation found that the provincial hospital was lacking facilities for eye treatment hence the decision to expand the catchment area for the operations to patients from other districts.
“We are promoting cooperation between Zambia and Israel in many sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and education,” Ms Hershkovitz said.
The Honorary consul said 40 students from Zambia will this year receive scholarships for agriculture internships in Israel which will be double the number from the 20 students that undertook the programme last year.
The Israeli consulate has also been working with the ministry of Finance for a rural agricultural development scheme based on Israeli knowledge in the rural areas.
During their stay in Mpika, the specialists interacted with the local medical staff sharing the shortcomings in public healthcare especially regarding eyes and they left earlier this year.