Public Health Awareness 2020

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The Active Citizens Movement -PMB facilitated an eye health awareness program in partnership with the Phumlani Dube Foundation, Al Imdaad Foundation, Vision 4 Life and UKZN's school of optometry. The event which was held at the community hall in Umlazi's D section received an overwhelming response with close to 700 people in attendance.   

The support from government stakeholders in the eThekwini District and the Province is a positive indicator of the willingness to embrace collaborative strategies to address the challenges in public health eye service delivery.   

Haseena Majid, secretary of ACM and one the founding members of the public private health forum to address the cataract surgery backlog in uMgungundlovu district was the lead coordinator for the days events. In her feedback, she praised the province for their commitment to address avoidable blindness and commended UKZN's Optometry students for their dedication and tireless efforts to make the day a success.   She remains concerned that the despite the growing number of people awaiting cataract surgery, administrative and sustainable service related solutions seem to be a set back.   

More than 100 referral letters were issued from the group of people seen. Most were for mature cataracts (grade 4 and 5) and of these many patients reported having had some access to eye health services or were placed on indefinite waiting lists.   A new introduction to the event was eye health promotion based on cultural safety and cultural awareness of patients.   In the pursuit of universal eye health delivery it is very necessary to ensure that clinicians are able to effectively educate and manage patients on a level relatable to the patient. This will likely help to improve when, where and how patients access services and manage their (eye) health responsibly