Third-year students test the elderly at KwaMashu Sports Centre.

Prioritise Your Eyes!

UKZN’s third-year Optometry students helped mark World Sight Day at an Eye Care Awareness event in KwaMashu, Durban.

The students together with their lecturer Dr Zama Xulu-Kasaba and representatives of the Phumlani Dube Foundation, USAWA, Essilor and other partners, conducted eye screenings at the KwaMashu Indoor Sports Centre.

To honour the global theme, I Pledge to Prioritise my Eyes, the team focused on the eyes of people aged 45 and over with the priority being conditions such as cataracts, retinopathy and presbyopia.

Patients were assessed at the venue and received a pair of reading glasses. Where necessary, they were issued with referral letters for surgical procedures in hospital and/or at the UKZN eye clinic. Members of the community were encouraged to look after their eyes with regular eye examinations advised.

Students enjoyed the experience. Said Ms Minenhle Dube: ‘It was amazing – something of an eye-opener.’ Mr Muhammad Rahmtoola said he was surprised about the delays in sufferers having surgery for cataracts.

Xulu-Kasaba was grateful to other stakeholders for their support, including the UKZN School of Health Sciences for student transport, and the Al Imdaad Foundation for water, walking sticks and wheelchairs.

The organisation of the day and refreshments were provided by the South African Optometry Association and Tekano.

Xulu-Kasaba encouraged communities to use their local optometrists, eye clinics at hospitals and the UKZN eye clinic for regular eye check-ups.

Words: Nombuso Dlamini

Photograph: Supplied