Foundation stone laid for better eye care in Yambio

By Elias Ginana Mangbondo

The Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio for the first time in history has laid the foundation stone of Eye Care Clinic Health Facility at St. Theresa Nzara Hospital in NzaraCounty in Western Equatoria State aiming to give an answer to the immense eye problems in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio and in the State.

Dr. Sunguza Ambrose, a Central African Republic nationaland an Ophthalmologist who specialized in Eye care from German said for the first time he and other eye specialists came to South Sudan and in Western Equatoria State in particular in 2008.They were moved to see how citizens were coming to seek health issues on eyes vision impair. Adding that time, many confirmed that there was no single Eye Care Clinic and eye specialists are not in the state but any patients who would have eye problems were referred to Khartoum in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya of which majority of citizens were not able to afford the expenses and due to that many people lost their eyesight.

Dr. Sunguza said, after winning the project from partners in Germany to construct the Eye Care Clinic,he thought it wise to bring it to South Sudan rather than taking it to his country of his origin, which is Central African Republic. Adding that Barani Eduardo HiiboroKussala the Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio showed him great hospitality and friendship when he was still a Priest served as Rector in a refugee camp in Mboki in Central African Republic and other reason was that Dr. Sunguza Ambrose was the first to marry a South Sudanese woman by then Sudan from Western Equatoria State.

The Ophthalmologist said that when people have eye problems it affects all their socio-economic status and effects to be dependants adding that once you have eyesight problems, you will underperform, unable to read even in public offices and again when a child has an eye problem, it is difficult for that child to perform well in school.

Barani Eduardo HiiboroKussala, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tobura-Yambio while talking to those who attended and witnessed the laying of the foundation stone at St. Theresa Nzara Hospital said, the church has acknowledged the reality that there is serious need to establish an Eye Cara Clinic in Nzara that will give humble opportunities to citizens in South Sudan and the neighbouring DR. Congo and Central African citizens because of the strategic location of the health facility.

Mr. John Sangara a representative from the State Ministry of Health of Western Equatoria State said, the state government is more grateful to the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio for its substantial move in supplementing the efforts of the government by providing health services to the people hugely in the state. Sangara said the State Ministry of Health is available to support the efforts of the church for any help asked for.

BullenNginzo, an administrator at the National Senate at the Upper House in Juba welcomes the initiative by the Catholic Church and other churches in Western Equatoria State who are working for the common good of all citizens. Adding that there is only one Eye Health Facility in Juba which is costly for citizens who are in the States to reach there once they have eyesight problems because of the challenges of the economic crisis in the country.

Nginzo admitted that once the construction of the Eye Care Clinic is completed in Nzara it will be easier for all people to access health services that treat their eyes.

The occasion at St. Theresa Nzara Hospital was officially started by blessing and laying the foundation stone by Bishop Eduardo HiiboroKussala, CMMB Leadership, representative of Ministry of Health in the Western EquatoriaState, Nzaracounty authorities, Diocesan Staff from Curia the Secretariat of Tombura-Yambio Catholic Diocese and some community members in Nzara.

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