South Sudanese Catholic Diocese Targets Hundreds of Patients in Eye Surgeries

Bishop Matthew Remijio Adam Gbitiku of South Sudan's Wau Diocese at the launch of the Surgical operations for cataract. Credit: ACI Africa

South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Wau has 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. 

Speaking at Wau Teaching Hospital during the launch of the Eye Care Campaign Monday, April 19, Wau Catholic Diocesan Health Coordinator, Dr. Jurel Payii Mamur said that the operation, which has brought on board seven specialized doctors, will cover the entire South Sudanese Diocese for a period of two weeks.

“This Eye Care Campaign program was organized by the Health Department of the Catholic Diocese of Wau for all the areas under Wau Diocese, whether in Kuajok, Aweil or Wau Parish,” Dr. Jurel told the participants at the launch that was graced by Bishop Mathew Remijo and the State Health Minister, Dr. Vincent Taban.  

Dr. Taban extended his appreciation to the Catholic Diocese of Wau for inviting the specialists from the country’s capital Juba and facilitating the activity together with partner organizations, which had come on board to offer the medical services.

He also thanked the South Sudanese doctors for what he referred to as voluntary support to the citizens of his administrative area.


The surgeries will be conducted in the government’s Wau Teaching Hospital as well as in St. Daniel Comboni Hospital.

The government official noted that not everyone with the eye condition was able to register for the surgeries. Many, he said, had missed out on the communication.

To cover for the inadequacies in information regarding the ongoing surgeries, the health minister of South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state promised to use local media as a way of creating massive awareness for many people with cataracts in Wau Diocese. 

The campaign targets five hundred cataract patients, according to the health department in the Catholic Diocese of Wau.

The representative of specialized doctors, Kenail Lodu, assured the public of their commitment despite the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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South Sudanese suffering from eye problems asked the government and partners to open centres in the state headquarters as travelling to capital Juba is expensive.

“It is expensive to go to Juba for 60,000 South Sudanese pounds ($100) and return with the same amount, with separate accommodation excluding the doctor’s pay. It is better to have it here in Wau,” a patient said, and shared that for two years, he had been blind in one eye.