Catholic Diocese in South Sudan Targets Hundreds of Patients in Eye Care Campaign

Some patients at previous eye screening campaign in Wau Diocese. Credit: Aquilina Adhel/Akol Yam FM

The Catholic Diocese of Wau in South Sudan has partnered with Juba University’s School of Medicine to conduct an eye care campaign in the country’s Western Bahr el Ghazal State targeting more than 200 patients with cataracts. 

In a March 23 message shared with ACI Africa, the Health Coordinator of Wau Diocese, Dr. Jurel Payii Mamur, said that the examination, which has brought on board eight specialized doctors, will cover the entire South Sudanese Diocese for a period of ten days.

“There are currently more than two hundred people ready for the examination and many others are still coming from various places across the county,” Dr. Jurel said.

He added, “There are eight doctors carrying out the examination in Raja County of the Catholic Diocese of Wau. The doctors include four from the Diocese of Wau and four from the University of Juba for eye examinations.”

Wau Diocese Health Services Coordinator expressed concern that many people have lost sight in the area, noting that the examination is aimed at finding out the real cause of blindness.


“Many people who have eye problems are mostly from Raja. That’s why we are starting from here,” he said, and added, “The survey is not only based in Raja but our team will go outside the town because the exercise will go for ten days.”

Dr. Jurel further said that people who will not be operated on in the area will have to be referred for care in Wau.

According to South Sudan Medical Journal (SSMJ), the leading causes of blindness in South Sudan are cataracts, trachoma, glaucoma, and onchocerciasis. Other eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis and refractive errors. There is variability in the pattern of eye diseases in South Sudan.

In the March 23 message shared with ACI Africa, Dr. Jurel urged the people in the world’s youngest nation to visit health facilities to know their eye status.

“Let our people continue to visit the nearest health facilities to know the status of their eyes before it becomes too late,” he said.

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He further called for increased awareness campaigns on the eye conditions in South Sudan, saying, “I am calling on those who got the information about the eye operation campaign to tell those who are suffering to come for an examination.”

 “It’s important for our people to know the situation of their eyes because this is the only chance for them to see again once the operation is done,” the Health Service Coordinator said.

In 2021, the Catholic Diocese of Wau partnered with Swiss Red Cross and South Sudan Red Cross to launch an eye care campaign in the country’s Western Bahr el Ghazal State in view of treating at least 500 patients with cataracts.

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.