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Friday, July 12, 2024

Free cataract surgery for senior citizens

Story by Farai Gwaze

THE need to improve the quality of life for the elderly and potentially reduce blindness rates in the country has seen the government partner with various organisations to provide free cataract surgeries for senior citizens.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care, along with its donor partners, Africa Future Foundation and Vision Care, is launching a free cataract surgery programme.

This initiative aims to improve the vision and quality of life for senior citizens struggling with cataracts.

“Today I’m here to get assistance for my eyes. I have cataracts, this is why I decided to come since it’s for free,” said one of the beneficiaries.

Another added, “I heard about a programme to fix eyes, so I came to get help.”

“I have symptoms of cataracts, I can’t even read, it’s a big challenge for me,” added another.

“I was told one of my eyes has cataracts, so I came to have them removed,” another beneficiary noted.

Ophthalmologist Dr Pamidzai Madzima highlighted that surgeries of screened patients will take place from the 2nd to the 4th of July.

“We are doing a free cataracts programme, where we will be operating from Sally Mugabe Hospital. The program has been initiated by donors who are based in South Korea through Africa Future Foundation and Vision Care. This programme is supported by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the University of Zimbabwe. We are going to be operating from the 2nd to the 4th of July, however, screening has already started, on Monday 24 June and will continue until Monday 1st of July,” she said.

Cataracts, a clouding of the lens that hinders vision, are the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally.

In Zimbabwe, over 60% of the blind population suffers from cataracts, highlighting a significant need for treatment, especially among seniors who are more susceptible.

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