UKZN Contributes to Ramakrishna Centre Outreach Event
The Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa held its first outreach event of the year in Shakaskraal on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast in partnership with UKZN’s Disciplines of Optometry and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The Ramakrishna Mission Centre is a non-profit organisation (NPO) and a public benefit organisation working to advance the interests of indigent communities and the spiritual interests of its members.
The outreach event, organised by Dr Shivani Singh and Dr Veena Singaram, attracted about 240 people, who received health assessments by Optometry, Pharmacy, Medical and Nursing students from UKZN.
‘Students had the opportunity to gain real-world experience at the event,’ said the Head of UKZN’s Discipline of Optometry, Dr Naimah Ebrahim Khan. ‘The occasion helped enhance their clinical skill sets as they needed to think on their feet about the best testing methods to employ since the outreach is not a typical clinical setting with equipment available.’
Said student Ms Alexandria Rupnarain: ‘Most rewarding was the opportunity we got to treat individuals from all walks of life. It was fulfilling to see the smiles on their faces knowing we could help meet their needs. It’s truly an indescribable feeling being aware that you can make a difference in somebody’s life, no matter how big or small.’
The outreach clinic, held from 08h00 to 14h00, included representatives from the South African National Blood Service, a general practitioner, a gynaecologist and social workers.
UKZN’s Optometry Department has been in partnership with the Ramakrishna Centre since last year, enabling it to get involved in three outreach activities and plans to participate in more this year.
The successful event was a great team effort and an excellent multi-disciplinary collaboration which served to help the community as well as giving students real world exposure and fostering social responsibility.
Words: Mandisa Shozi