Policymaking strides in Zim’s eye-care services

Source: Policymaking strides in Zim’s eye-care services –Newsday Zimbabwe

Speaking on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony of persons with visual impairment at Dorothy Duncan School for the Blind, Mathias Mukona, an eye specialist, said a number of challenges that were limiting national eye-care service were being dealt with as a result of government effort through its policies.

ZIMBABWE is recording some gains from government’s National Eye Health Policy and continuous training of professionals in eye-care services, a senior ophthalmologist has said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony of persons with visual impairment at Dorothy Duncan School for the Blind, Mathias Mukona, an eye specialist, said a number of challenges that were limiting national eye-care service were being dealt with as a result of government effort through its policies.

The National Eye Health Policy was launched a year ago by Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga during his tenure as the Health and Child Care minister.

The policy creates a radar and operational framework for execution of eye-care services in Zimbabwe.

“There are now many centres looking after the eye disease burden. Initially, the first one was Sekuru Kaguvi Hospital, which is part of Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals with Richard Morris Eye Clinic at United Bulawayo Hospitals complementing it.

“Now Chitungwiza Central Hospital and Harare Central Hospital [Sally Mugabe Central Hospital] are now offering eye-care services with Mpilo Central Hospital also in the process of establishing its eye-care services as well. “We have Marondera Provincial Hospital, Chinhoyi Provincial Hospital, Sakubva Eye Clinic and Norton Eye Clinic which are all offering robust eye-care services and all are being managed by specialist ophthalmologists.”

Mukona also said there had been a significant improvement in specialist human resources as there are now a number of eye specialists in the country.

“There has been a lot of training that has been going on and initiated by Dr Guramatunhu then subsequently Amos Mukangamwi, Rangarirai Masanganise and many others in government and various universities.

“With the human resource capital in place, we are now able to manage and treat people with the visual health needs in Zimbabwe at many centres though Sekuru Kaguvi still remains the heartbeat for eye-care services in Zimbabwe.

“Eye-care services are very unique in such a way that they are machinery dependent and use many consumables of which most are imported outside the country.”

Speaking at the same event, Dorothy Duncan School for the Blind director Anderson Robertson said the graduation ceremony and 30th anniversary marked a significant milestone in the collective pursuit of inclusivity, equality and opportunity.

“It symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, of courage over fear, and of dreams over limitations. It serves as a testament to the unwavering dedication and commitment of our graduates, their families, and the entire community that has supported their journey,” he said.

Dorothy Duncan Braille Library is a local private voluntary organisation that trains and equips visually impaired individuals to be independent and self-reliant.

The rehabilitation department offers rehabilitation training to individuals who lose their sight in adulthood.

The training programme covers the following subject areas: Braille, computers, mobility and orientation, daily living skills, switch board operation.

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