Tanzania has more than 4 million persons with a disability, while about 450,000 persons are blind. About half of them have cataracts and would be able to see again after a relative simple operation. About 20,000 children are blind. There is an acute structural shortage of qualified personnel and solid infrastructure in Tanzania. With an annual population growth of nearly three percent and more than a third of the population living in poverty seems to be a problem not easily solved.
Light for the World supports therefore the eye health work of four partner hospitals in Tanzania: the CCBRT hospital in Dar es Salaam, the KCMC hospital in Moshi, the Saint Francis Referral hospital Ifakara and the Saint Joseph's Mission hospital in Peramiho (Songea). In 2019, 141,219 eye health consultations took place, 8,322 eye surgeries of which 1,448 among children, while 6,164 spectacles were sold.
In addition, Licht for the World in Tanzania also manages an inclusive educational program in the regions of Dodoma and Morogoro. We work hard to make sure that children with a visual impairment can take lessons together with their sighted peers. A total of 289 children with a disability were able to go to school in 2019.
Since 2019 Light for the World has supported economic empowerment of persons with disabilities. Through a partnership with Jobortunity training centre in Arusha, youth were trained and placed for internship and employment. In the Inclusion Is Our Business programme a group of 5 young persons with different types of disabilities have been trained as disability Inclusion facilitators. They facilitate disability inclusion training and coaching with 5 national and international youth and development organizations. The disability inclusion facilitators have now set up the youth wing at the national umbrella organizations of persons with disabilities in Tanzania.