Duncan’s Passion for Eye Health
Duncan was working as a district data officer in Zambia when he chose to train to be a nursing officer, hoping to work more closely with people and make an impact on their lives. He was soon awarded a scholarship by a local mining group to study in Ghana as an Ophthalmic Clinical Officer (OCO). As he was completing his studies, Orbis started working with the Mwinilunga District Hospital in Zambia’s North-Western Province (NWP). The hospital was in need of OCOs, which led to Duncan’s invitation to return to Zambia and work alongside Orbis. He is now one of the few active OCOs in Zambia.
“Finally, I could pursue a career where I could live out my passion to mobilize people to greater health, and work specifically with eye health,” Duncan said.
As an OCO, Duncan screens, diagnoses and coordinates transport and appointments for patients, covering all aspects of treatment. He carries out every step, from examining a patient’s visual acuity upon meeting him or her to arranging his or her admittance into the hospital post-surgery. With Orbis’s support, Duncan has been able to implement a strict follow-up protocol to ensure patients recover in full: an initial follow-up at the hospital, followed by several within a six-month period at patients’ homes and local clinics. He always takes care to explain the proper use of antibiotics and instructions for cleanings to ensure a patient’s full recovery according to his prognosis.
“I love my role, as I interact all day with patients, and they are so appreciative when you play a role in giving them sight,” Duncan said. “[It] is extremely rewarding.”