Grey’s Hospital gets eye health-care donation

2016-02-10 06:00
PHOTO: supplied At the donation handover (from left) Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse (eye clinic manager), Dr Siphiwe Mndaweni (deputy director General: District Health Systems), Isamu Yamaguchi (councillor to the Japanese Embassy) and John Mcgregor (Orbis Africa board member).

PHOTO: supplied At the donation handover (from left) Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse (eye clinic manager), Dr Siphiwe Mndaweni (deputy director General: District Health Systems), Isamu Yamaguchi (councillor to the Japanese Embassy) and John Mcgregor (Orbis Africa board member).

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OVER R1 million has been donated by the Japanese embassy to the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health that will enable Orbis Africa to purchase specialised equipment to address vision loss in KZN children.

Orbis Africa, a non-profit organisation that works to reduce preventable and treatable blindness and visual impairment, received significant funding from the Japanese embassy to South Africa, earmarked to buy specialised eye health equipment.

KZN has the highest prevalence of childhood visual impairment in the country and this donation, which officially took place at Grey’s Hospital, means that the province is now one step closer to eliminating avoidable visual impairments in children.

Grey’s Hospital was identified as one of three hospitals in KZN that requires equipment in order to optimise child eye health service delivery.

As the only tertiary hospital in the uMgungundlovu district, Grey’s Hospital serves over three million people, 80% of whom are unable to afford private medical care. The eye clinic receives patients from more than 20 local clinics as well as 19 primary and regional hospitals with some patients travelling 400kms.

“The donation to Orbis Africa from the government of Japan was made possible through its grant assistance for grassroots human security projects. The Japanese embassy’s support has seen Grey’s Hospital Eye Clinic become one of the best equipped units in the province. The impact the unit is able to have as a result of the investment is immeasurable.

“The team is now better equipped to not only restore sight but also dignity, and their work plays a significant role in improving socioeconomic conditions for the patients and their families,” said Lene Øverland, Orbis Africa CEO.

Dr Siphiwe Mndaweni, deputy director general at district health services, KZN Department of Health said that the department is grateful to the Japanese embassy for the donation.

“This donation will go a long way towards ensuring that no one is unnecessarily blind or visually impaired as a result of effective public private partnerships. This collaboration between the Department of Health, Orbis Africa and the Japanese embassy is proof that quality eye health care for all is possible when committed partners and stakeholders share a common goal,” he said.

- Supplied.

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