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The Otjozondjupa Health Directorate, in collaboration with the National Blindness Prevention Programme, is conducting a cataract surgical campaign at the Grootfontein district hospital. 

The campaign will be carried out jointly with surgical teams from the Windhoek Central Hospital and international volunteers from Germany and the US, running until May 17th.

The group is led by Dr. Helena Ndume, an internationally renowned philanthropist. 

The joint project is expected to restore the sight of about 450 cataract patients from the Otjozondjupa, Kunene, and Omaheke regions. 

Dr. Ndume emphasised the importance of giving back to the most vulnerable people in society. 

She appreciated the efforts the volunteers put in to see the project through and lamented against health practitioners who are laid back due to working without overtime.

"Look at these doctors coming from overseas; they pay their own tickets and bring all the supplies, and they are not their relatives; these are our parents, and we must sacrifice. We must learn to give back and not just wait for SNT and whatever. That's why, as Africans, we cannot progress." 

Otjozondjupa Governor James Uerikua indicated that his office is always ready to support programmes of this nature.

"It's disheartening to hear that there are officials within the ranks and files of our institution who are saying, 'I was not part of the planning; I don't have SNT; I don't have overtime'. An eyesight restoration programme of this nature can never be downgraded to a level of SNT; that's not how low we can get."

Tsumkwe Constituency has a high number of vulnerable and marginalised people, and in the absence of a hospital, Grootfontein is a strategic location for the project.

Next month, the team will be in Rundu, where they are expected to see more than 700 people from Rundu and Katima Mulilo.

They will proceed to Engela in July, where more than 600 patients await the team. 

The team will proceed to Oshana and end the campaign in the Oshikoto Region.

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NBC Digital News

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Edelberd Mukena