Children’s Eye Health: Meet Bazil
What makes CCBRT’s eye services different for children?
When founded in 1994, CCBRT’s mission was to identify and refer people with avoidable blindness to local treatment facilities. To this day, our Eye Department serves 80% of total patients. Our services now span many areas, but we are still known as the “hospitali ya macho” (eye hospital) throughout Dar es Salaam. In 2017 CCBRT’s Eye Department performed over 12,000 paediatric eye consultations, and gave out over 500 optical devices to children. CCBRT’s eye services stand out for many reasons, one being that all children under five receive free treatment.
Bazil is one of the hundreds of children that were able to get a quick diagnosis and receive spectacles this year because there was no financial burden on his parents. Bazil, a three year old, was referred to CCBRT in March. “I noticed that Bazil’s eyes would become crossed when he was trying to focus on something or when he was staring at something. That is when I decided to take him to the hospital,” said Bazil’s mother. An eye evaluation at CCBRT led to a diagnosis of refractive esotropia, which is one of the most common forms of strabismus, also known as crossed eyes. Crossed eyes is caused by nerves in the brain not communicating properly with eye muscles, and it is very treatable.
Bazil was prescribed free spectacle to correct his eyes. Bazil’s mother was happy that her son was referred to CCBRT for two reasons: the quality of care and the free services. “I am glad that we got my son’s glasses at CCBRT. They are well-made and I am pleased with the fast service and care we received.” Bazil’s mother mentioned that if she was required to pay for the services, she would have spent weeks or months raising the money. Untreated, Bazil’s eye condition could have worsened – a major reason that CCBRT insists on providing free or low-cost services to those in need. Now Bazil is able to focus properly and play with his toys. He looks comfortable and is happy with his glasses!