This Holiday Season, Meet Elizabeth
Did you know that an estimated 2 million children in Tanzania are in need of pediatric eye services? Many of those children will lose their sight or suffer with a visual impairment, which will affect almost every aspect of their future — their ability to play, go to school and lead a productive life. Thanks to the support of our donors and partners, children like Elizabeth are able to receive the sight-restoring treatment they need.
CCBRT was established in 1994 as a community based rehabilitation program committed to serving people with correctable blindness in Dar es Salaam. Today, CCBRT’s largest service area remains its work in eye care. CCBRT’s ophthalmology department focuses on services in high demand in the Tanzanian community, including cataracts, glaucoma, trauma, tumors, trachoma, and diabetic eye disease. On average, cataract surgeries account for 50% of the eye surgeries provided at the CCBRT Hospital.
“My little sister and I were fighting over something, and accidentally, she poked me in the eye. My eye started reacting, and I had to be taken to the CCBRT clinic. I was told my eye was damaged and needed to be removed,” Elizabeth recalled.
In 2018, CCBRT performed over 6,800 eye surgeries and nearly 69,000 consultations at its hospital in Dar es Salaam. CCBRT is one of only three facilities in Tanzania that offers pediatric eye services and is the only facility in the country that makes artificial eyes from scratch for children like Elizabeth.
“I experienced many challenges before the operation. In class, my performance was dropping. Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to attend class for a month, or even two. I also stopped playing with my friends. I was worried I would hurt my eye. But ever since the operation, I’ve felt like a normal person. Some people don’t even notice I have an artificial eye. I’m grateful, because now I am on track with my studies,” Elizabeth told us. Elizabeth’s future is brighter thanks to the support of donors like you.