SA Eyecare Coalition screening in support of World Sight Month

200 people from in and around Kokstad can see clearer now that a team of volunteer optometrists spent a day seeing patients in honour of World Sight month.

Five major civil society partners whose combined expertise comprises the South African Eyecare Coalition, an umbrella body driving meaningful eye health, worked together with coalition partner AMS KZN in an outreach programme to provide vision screening for patients of the EG Usher Memorial Hospital, Kokstad, on Wednesday 11 October – as their commitment to October being World Sight Month 2023.

East Griqualand and EG Usher Memorial Hospital is a 185-bed district hospital situated on the outskirts of the Kokstad. The hospital has optometry nurses, but no optometrists. The coalition team worked with existing hospital patients. 200 patients were seen by three optometrists, two vision screeners and one optometrist team leader.

October is traditionally World Sight Month which reinforces awareness about the importance of eye health. Every person on the planet will experience an eye health issue at some point in their lives, but the reality is that more than a billion people do not have access to eye care services to correct, treat or prevent vision loss.

The five founding members of the Coalition are African Eye Institute: an Africa-wide, non-profit development organisation; SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) a non-profit aero-medical rescue organisation with more than 55 years of expertise in the aero-medical sector; OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation who have an innovative approach to philanthropy, partnerships and raising awareness to create sustainable access to vision care; St. John who operates 12 Eye Care Centres across South Africa and has been providing eye care services to the public for over 70 years by providing professional comprehensive eye testing and quality eyewear at affordable prices; the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness is an international alliance working to promote eye health, with more than 150 organisations in over 100 countries.

Photos taken at the SA Eyecare Coalition Eye screening outreach at East Griqualand and EG Usher Memorial Hospital to honour World Sight Month.

Photos by Brenda Dodgson / Meraki Photography

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