Clinician Profile: Dr. Cyprian

|   Eye

"We should be the best because people need us".

This need orients Dr. Cyprian Ntomoka's practice and vision for eye care in Tanzania. As the Head of the CCBRT Eye Department, Dr. Cyprian envisions a Tanzania where eye care will be as available as the plentiful fruit stands throughout the country.

After training in Tanzania, Kenya, Germany, and India, he returned to Tanzania and saw the enormous need firsthand. Before joining the CCBRT, Dr. Cyprian worked as a Medical Retina Specialist in Tanzania's southern highlands seeing hundreds of patients each day. With a widespread reputation for expert eye care, CCBRT attracts nearly 400 patients each day: "Every morning our department is completely full with people from all over the country-- and they are just a fraction of those who need treatment. Why do they come here? Because they trust CCBRT. I am here so that they can get the services they deserve," he explained.

"I thought to myself, I have to join CCBRT to grow it and broaden access to treatment-- that is my passion". He dreams of expanding CCBRT's existing social franchise model to reach even more patients. This involves reinvesting revenue generated from private services in subsidized public care, resulting in affordable treatment for those who need it most.

Dr. Cyprian explained his dream with a metaphor: "Suppose you have a house that floods every year. You cannot sell that house. What do you do?" He continued, "You make a giant trench!" To address the daily "flood" of patients the CCBRT Disability Hospital in Dar es Salaam, "we should build trenches all over the city". These “trenches” are neighborhood eye clinics where patients would be seen for triage and receive basic ophthalmologic care. That way, patients are treated faster and closer to home, saving them time and money. 

In addition, only the most difficult cases would be referred to the Disability Hospital centre of excellence, thus reducing wait times and ensuring those who need urgent care receive it fast. He wants his patients to know: "We are so passionate about your conditions. It is not fair for you to wake up early to come here and not be seen".

Put simply, "We don't need people traveling from all over the country to get eye drops-- they should be able to have access at home!" After addressing the need in Dar es Salaam, a region home to more than 4 million people, Dr. Cyprian hopes to establish CCBRT clinics and centers of excellence throughout Tanzania.

As Department Head and President of the Tanzania Ophthalmology Society, we know Dr. Cyprian is improving eye care for all Tanzanians. In his words, “I am here for my people”. Thank you for your tireless dedication and enthusiasm.