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While spending time in the area of Lake Bunyonyi to visit NiCA, I had, besides the visits to Bwama Primary School, also the opportunity to visit Bwama Health Center for the purpose of donating a number of second-hand glasses there that I had been able to bring from the Netherlands.
Bwama Health Center is, like Bwama Primary School, located on Bwama Island, where it opened its doors in 2012 as a result of a wonderful cooperation between Slovenian doctors and nurses, Edirisa UK and the Ugandan public health services.
The health center is of great importance for the poor in the local community who seek medical care. All services from the health centre are provided totally free of charge, which I found confirmed on the sign at their entrance. For the glasses to be given out for free to the poorest of society had been an absolute requirement of me while looking for options. Bwama Health Center is the major primary care provider in the area of Lake Bunyonyi; it gives relief from curable conditions, helps fight some of the developing world’s biggest killers, and also it helps local women deliver children more safely.
Before taking the glasses to the health center, we found a helpful eye specialist in Kabale town willing to determine the strength of the spectacle lenses, for us to label the glasses. As our visit to the centre had been announced in the local church, on our arrival on the scheduled day we found a number of people waiting for us in the waiting room. We were warmly welcomed by nurse Hossan, who I handed the glasses in a short ceremonial; we then handed out the first reading glasses to some older people who had been waiting. It was so moving to see the joy on their faces on discovering that they could indeed read much easier again now! Of course for people needing more specific lenses, closer examination was going to be needed.
A few days after the actual donation of the glasses at the health center, I met Edward Arineitwe Bwengye, who is a Senior Nursing Officer at Bwama Health Center, in my hotel. He once more wanted to express the great appreciation for the donation on behalf of the entire staff of the health centre. He was most happy to learn that we want to extend this initiative of donating glasses to the poorest in the future. He emphasized that the need for glasses amongst the poor in society is enormous and that they can in no way afford themselves to buy them. We intend also for HWMCO-Uganda to start benefitting from this initiative.
We thank the staff of the branch of Pearle opticians in Uden (NL) to make this first donation of 60 second-hand glasses a possibility. We hope for a continuation of our wonderful cooperation in the future!
“We Fight Poverty by Bringing Development.”
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