The UKZN Foundation together with the College of Health Sciences’ Optometry and Ophthalmology Disciplines partnered with Ster-Kinekor for its Vision Mission campaign, offering free eye screening for learners from high schools and primary schools across KwaZulu-Natal.
The screenings were held as part of #EyeCareAwarenessMonth at Ster-Kinekor Gateway to raise awareness about eye health, specifically around the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness.
The Optometry Discipline provided basic eye screening to identify cataracts, stereopsis, colour vision and the need for bi-focal spectacles. The Ophthalmology team also screened participants for glaucoma and checked the pressure in their eyes.
School of Health Sciences Optometry academic leader Dr Naimah Ebrahim Khan said: ‘According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people have a distance or near visual impairment, with 1 billion cases not being acknowledged. Vision screening helps to alleviate this burden by detecting correctable vision problems thus improving the chances of assisting those who need it the most and improving their quality of life.’
Khan said the Optometry Discipline appreciated the opportunity to partner in the initiative with Ster-Kinekor as it allowed students a meaningful opportunity to offer their time and use their skills to align with one of UKZN’s mission statements regarding being critically engaged with society.
Head of CSI Transformation and Wellness at Ster-Kinekor Ms Geraldine Engelman said: ‘Vision issues are among the most challenging in disadvantaged communities. The partnership with UKZN will have a huge impact on future generations, especially those from under-resourced schools. Children who suffer because of eye problems at school and who cannot see the chalkboard clearly in classrooms, will now have the opportunity for a free eye screening.’