New Eye Hospital for KZN
The McCord Provincial Eye Hospital was officially opened by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Senzo Mchunu, and the KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, during World Sight Week.
Final-year UKZN students were at the mobile clinic station at the hospital to help conduct free eye screenings, hand out reading glasses and make referrals to the hospital.
Speaking at the opening, Mchunu said thousands of visually impaired locals had used the hospital’s facilities since it opened its doors to the public on 1 April and many of those would now have improved vision.
It is envisaged the hospital will become a centre of hope for Southern Africa.
‘Tonight I will sleep with a clear conscience knowing we’ve done something good for the people of KZN. We’ve done something good for the people of South Africa and the wider African continent,’ said Mchunu, stressing that the opening of the healthcare facility was a significant milestone in a province where eye-care services were scarce for communities outside urban areas.
Mchunu lauded the Department of Health (DoH) and its healthcare professionals who dedicate their lives to assisting those in need of care and treatment.
Dhlomo said more than 500 patients visited the hospital every day. Helping to restore or improve sight significantly improved the quality of life of the visually impaired.
The Academic Head of UKZN’s Ophthalmology Department, Dr Linda Visser, said all levels of eye-care training were offered at the hospital. ‘This hospital will hopefully become an internationally renowned Eye Facility.’
‘It’s an exciting time for all of us,’ said UKZN’s Academic Leader for Optometry, Ms Vanessa Moodley.