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Sustaining Eye-care services in the COVID-19 Era through Tele-medicine: JU’s Department of Ophthalmology

COVID-19 has impacted the healthcare service delivery system worldwide. The pandemic has constrained regular service provision at the Department of Ophthalmology in Jimma University, which is known for its voluntary eye-care service campaigns in southwest Ethiopia.

The department has been working on the way to sustain its services to the community in need of eye-care from the time COVID-19 limited its regular and extended services. It has now announced the establishment of Ophthalmic-tele-Consultation Clinic to give service to the community seeking guidance and treatment on eye-related diseases.

This tele-consultation clinic is established to serve service seekers who are unable to visit eye-care centers due to the COVID-19 challenge. Through the established clinic, the Department will reach out to the service seekers through giving information, refilling already prescribed medications, counselling on problems that might not need further evaluation and treatment, and identifying acute and life-threatening problems to refer patients for urgent hospital visit.

The Department has dedicated the telephone lines: 09-42-69-13-35 and 09-38-89-93-27 for the service, and indicated that the service seekers can call to these numbers to contact professionals at the department to get service from the comfort of their homes.

The Department of Ophthalmology is known for conducting free eye-care service campaigns in several places. The last campaign which served more than 10,000 needy community was conducted from March 9--13, 2020 in collaboration with Himalayan Cataract Project and Vision Care Ethiopia, just before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak and the restrictions imposed in the country following that.

#Stayathome! Consult Eye-care Professionals!

Jimma University

 

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