An estimated 400 000 South Africans are already blind – with approximately 240 000 of these blind from cataracts (official estimations). The cataract surgery rate for South Africa is higher than most other African nations, but still far below the Vision 2020 goal of 2 500 per million of population. The number of cataract cases is increasing each year and there are those who unofficially estimate the number of blind people from cataracts to be approaching 500 000. In addition, it is often children who are asked to care for the blind person in the family, thus disempowering them as far as formal education is concerned.
Matthew 14:14 "And when Jesus went out, He saw the multitude, and was moved with compassion, and healed their sick"
Our annual objectives are as follows:
• screen a minimum of 24000 people from the area for eye conditions;
• treat 10000 primary eye complaints;
• fully assess refractive errors, and distribute a minimum of 4000 pairs of glasses;
• screen formally for cataracts, and keep records of everyone who will require surgery immediately or at some later stage;
• perform cataract surgery on EVERY patient whose condition falls within the cataract surgery requirement, within 3 months of the diagnosis (an estimated minimum of 500 cataract surgeries during 2021)
• identify glaucoma and offer immediate treatment, and refer to tertiary hospitals where necessary;
• identify childhood blindness in children starting school and arrange intervention where necessary, so that each child in the area has a maximum chance of excelling in their education;
• screen diabetics for retinopathy, and offer immediate treatment and referral to tertiary hospitals where necessary;
• screen the elderly for macular degeneration, offer treatment when appropriate and refer to a tertiary hospital where necessary.