Good Shepherd Hospital Eye Clinic (GSHEC) seeks to reveal the light and love of Christ into the eyes of blind people. We are a faith-based organisation that provides eye care to the people of Eswatini (former Swaziland) and neighboring countries.
As a small and dedicated team of four ophthalmologists and two ophthalmic nurses, we offer a comprehensive service, operating on 1.200 and treating 16.000 patients each year.
We place great value in treating everyone that is in need regardless of socio-economic considerations. We firmly believe that increased accessibility to our services is the key to eliminating treatable blindness in Eswatini.
Through years of innovation, research and training we have become an institution that is known for affordable, world-class eye care.
Burden of eye conditions in Eswatini
The state of eye care in Africa stands in alarming contrast to the rest of the world, with preventable and treatable eye conditions being leading causes of blindness. Blindness has huge economic implications not only for individuals and communities but for the country as a whole. Poverty predisposes one to blindness and blindness exacerbates poverty through lost educational and employment opportunities. Loss of sight therefore represents a profound public health, social and economic problem. The following statistics are known on the health care burden of eye diseases in Eswatini (former Swaziland), a country with a population of 1.2 million people:
A 2008 WHO report estimated a prevalence of blindness in Eswatini of 1%, of which 50% is due to cataract. This means approximately 11,000 blind people in Eswatini of whom about 6,000 are blind from cataract.
A community rapid assessment in 2013 showed that only 20% of patients blind from cataract have had surgery. The principal barriers to accessing surgery are lack of finances and of knowledge about available treatment.
There are approximately 500 blind children in Eswatini. Reports show that nearly 40% of childhood blindness is preventable with appropriate management.
A 2011 survey also found that refractive error and presbyopia are significant causes of visual impairment in the country. Other main causes of blindness are glaucoma, diabetic eye disease and HIV/AIDS and TB related eye conditions.
GSHEC works with the Ministry of Health on the Comprehensive National Eye Health Strategy 2019 to reduce avoidable blindness and visual impairment in Eswatini by 25% by 2022 through strengthening promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services. To read more about this plan and about the healthcare burden of eye diseases in Eswatini please click on the logo below.