10 October to 24 October 2022

Cataract Eye Surgery Community Drive

The Black Mountain Complex, in collaboration with the South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB) and the Department of Health, had a successful Cataract Eye Care and Surgeries Programme from 10 October to 24 October 2022

The Eye Screening programme included all the towns of Khai-Ma, Nama-Khoi, Richtersveld and Kamiesberge municipal areas. The programme aims to eliminate cataracts and enhance vision in our host and labour-sending communities.

The campaign provided free screening, thorough free cataract removal operations, and referrals, where needed, to prevent and reverse some forms of avoidable blindness. Loss of vision has a negative impact on one’s quality of life, employment opportunities, and socioeconomic status. In addition, it limits potential in children by affecting motor skills and emotional development.

Vision loss is a major public health issue that significantly affects developing countries, including South Africa, and is caused primarily by cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes. According to census data, the country has a disabled population of 7.5%, with 1.7% having severe visual impairment. Through initiatives like these, we can also help transform the lives of visually impaired people in our communities.

The campaign received a warm welcome in all the communities visited as the residents came out in good numbers. Yet again, proving that medical services for eye health are much needed in our communities. A total number of 1305 patients participated in the programme with the following services received:

  • • Pre-screening total six day.
  •   1305
  • • Screening Total (Referral clinic) two days.
  •   228
  • • All eligible surgeries from pre-screening and screening days.
  •   317
  • • Eligible surgeries for two weekends only.
  •   144
  • • Surgeries completed.
  •   127 cataracts
  •   17 cancellations
  • • Spectacles provided on-site to persons not eligible for surgery with bad eyesight:
  •   215

We wish to thank all community volunteers, especially our VZI workforce, that assisted with great passion and embodied the value of care in their interaction with the patients.

Remember to get your eyes checked at least every two years because 75% of blindness can be avoided if diseases are detected and treated early.