|Elderly receive free cataract ops|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 21:56|
Austin Nyathi in GwandaTHE Department of Ophthalmology College of Health Sciences in the University of Zimbabwe in partnership with Health Volunteers For Africa (HVA), a local non-governmental organisation, yesterday embarked on a massive cataract surgical outreach programme to restore sight to people from Matabeleland South province, mostly the elderly.
The programme which was conducted at the Gwanda Provincial Hospital started on Friday and will end today.
In an interview yesterday, the administrator in the Department of Ophthalmology Mr Sunboy Rupiya said they were out on a mission to assist underprivileged communities.
“We are here in Gwanda for restoration of sight by attending to all conditions that affect the eye and we also do cataract surgery. Part of our mandate as a department from the University of Zimbabwe is to do community service targeting disadvantaged areas, especially rural.
“We partnered with Health Volunteers for Africa to conduct the outreach programme for Matabeleland South having started last Friday and we will be finishing on Sunday (today). However, if there are more people in need of the assistance we may continue to Monday,’’ Mr Rupiya said.
“The outreach team is led by Professor Rangarirai Masanganise, who is the chairperson of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Zimbabwe.’’
The National director of Health Volunteers for Africa, Mr Mike Mamire said: “Our objective is to attend to at least 300 patients here in Gwanda. We intend to cover the whole country since this is a scarce service to the needy. By mid day yesterday more than 100 patients had been attended. Health Volunteers for Africa is a local non-governmental organisation of medical doctors who provide free treatment in rural areas in the country.’’
He said his organisation in partnership with the team from the Department of Ophthalmology attended to patients from around the province.
“As we were going around the Matabeleland South province we observed that people from the region had eyesight problems and we had to partner with the Department of Ophthalmology from UZ who provide eye specialists.
“We have so far done medical outreach programmes in five districts in Matabeleland South, namely Matobo, Insiza, Bulilima, Mangwe and Gwanda but the programme is ongoing,’’ he said.
The Provincial Medical Director for Matabeleland South, Dr William Busumani, thanked the team of doctors, saying the community benefitted immensely from the programme.