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November 06, 2013 | Africa: Tanzania

Access to information changes Mwanza community

By Lauren Quin

Special Olympics Tanzania (SOT) hosted two health initiatives in mid November; a Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes screening accompanied by a Family Health Forum for family members and care takers of SOT athletes. These events were organised by National Director Mr Frank Macha and Mwanza Sports Coordinator Mr Stephen Mayalla with the help of four Clinical Directors. Athletes who attended the screening received sunglasses and approximately twelve received prescription eyewear which will later be distributed to athletes after being fitted with custom lenses. In addition to the Health athletes screening, a Family health forum was attended by approximately 50 family members as a representative from the Ministry of Education. The main health topic at the forum was Malaria Awareness, which was thoroughly explained by Dr. Pontence Mhaya .A brief orientation of Special Olympics was also provided in order to ensure that caretakers were aware of all services and opportunities offered to athletes. Most families agreed that they had left the forum with more than what they expected. One family member exclaimed:” I could have prevented a lot from happening had I known”. This only highlights that good access to health information is a means of preventative care.

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