uMgungundlovu gets quality eye care courtesy of Japan

2016-01-28 10:48
Eye Clinic manager Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse demonstrates a piece of equipment during a tour of the Eye Clinic at Grey’s Hospital.

Eye Clinic manager Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse demonstrates a piece of equipment during a tour of the Eye Clinic at Grey’s Hospital. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - KZN, which has the highest prevalence of childhood visual impairment in the country, has received a funding boost from the Japanese Embassy, earmarked to buy specialised eye health equipment.

Orbis Africa, a non-profit organisation that works to reduce preventable and treatable blindness and visual impairment on the continent, said the R1 million-plus donation enabled it to buy highly specialised pieces of equipment that were officially handed over to the KZN Health Department at Grey’s Hospital yesterday.

Grey’s was identified as one of three hospitals in the province that required equipment to optimise child eye health service delivery.

Orbis Africa CEO Lene Øverland said: “The Japanese Embassy’s support has seen the Grey’s Hospital Eye Clinic become one of the best equipped units in the province.”

Øverland said the impact the unit would 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.”

Dr Carl-Heinz Kruse, head of ophthalmology at Grey’s Hospital, said financial constraints severely affected their ability to procure equipment for the eye clinic, and the donation had already had a significant impact on their capacity.

“This is now the first time that we can capture, archive and compare images. We now send images to the USA and other countries for assistance with difficult cases,” he said.

Dr Siphiwe Mndaweni, deputy director general for District Health Services at the Health Department, said they appreciated the help from the Japanese Embassy and Orbis Africa. “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.” He said this collaboration between the Department of Health, Orbis Africa and the Japanese Embassy proved sharing a common goal made quality eye healthcare for all possible. — Witness Reporter

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health  |  eye

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