Source: UBH to offer free eye surgeries | The Sunday News March 17, 2019
Tendai Bhebe, Sunday News Reporter
UNITED Bulawayo Hospital, through its Richard Morris Eye Hospital in Bulawayo is expected to offer free eye surgeries to at least 500 patients next month as part of helping the underprivileged members of the community.
In an interview, UBH chief executive officer Mrs Nonhlanhla Ndlovu said the free eye camp would run from 23-28 April.
“The free cataract eye camp comes as a relief, especially for the under-privileged members of our society who struggle to access treatment necessary to fully restore their vision. We noticed there is great joy in helping the needy,” she said.
Mrs Ndlovu said the eye camp would be life changing for the people with cataracts.
“The eye cataract programme is free as they (patients) are not paying for the operation services. It is a life changing programme as patients will regain their eyesight. By giving people sight you are transforming the way they live, you are empowering them, their independence and their freedom. Many of these patients have been dis-empowered as they depend on other people,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
She said the eye camp was now an annual event.
“The programme is done yearly, we have received positive results as the hospital meets or at times surpasses intended targets for eye cataract operations. Our clients are satisfied as they benefit from the eye camp and the cataract eye operations backlog is cleared as there would be enough resources and medical personnel,” said Mrs Ndlovu.
Five percent of eye cataract patients in Zimbabwe are children, although this is an adult disease that is rarely found in children.
Mrs Ndlovu said the hospital has partnered with various organisations to carry out the eye camp.
“We are partnering with the Islamic Medical Association (IMAZ) in collaboration with the International Islamic Relief Organisation of Saudi Arabia. They have helped us over these years and we have managed to treat patients. We have been working together with them,” she said.
However, Mrs Ndlovu said some of their parents over the years have faced problems with accommodation.
“Accommodation at times is a challenge for our clients and their escorts as some come from outside Bulawayo and we often work until very late, requiring them to spend nights here,” she said.
According to World Health Organisation estimates indicates that there are 125 000 people with blindness in Zimbabwe of which 62 500 are blind as a result of cataracts.