Eye Care Week | Western Cape Government


Eye Care Week

10 October 2005
Minister Praises Free Cataract Operations Done at Kuilsriver Hospital

A special cataract operation project was undertaken at Kuilsriver Hospital as part of Eye Awareness Week, which is traditionally held during the month of October. Ten people with cataracts would be operated on at the hospital free of charge.

Pierre Uys, Provincial Health Minister, who visited the hospital, said the project helped make inroads into the backlog in the Western Cape. Some 20 cataract operations are done every week at Kuilsriver Hospital and more than 1 000 a year.

The increased number of operations forms part of the Department's Christmas Deliverables in the province and it is the Department's aim to help an additional 280 people or in total 613 people will have had their sight restored by the end of the campaign.

Despite this workload the backlog is well over 200. This year's Eye Awareness Theme was Childhood Blindness and focused on children with cataracts. Cataracts are common amongst the elderly but 15% of blind children in South Africa have been rendered blind as a result of cataracts. Cataract blindness can be treated with surgery and adequate refractive correction.

"We must remember that a cataract operation can give an elderly person another 10 or perhaps 15 years of vision, but when we operate on a child we give him or her an entire lifetime of light and a lifetime of good vision," says Uys.

Issued by:

The Directorate Communications
Office of the Superintendent of Health, Western Cape
Department of Health

Faiza Steyn
Director: Communication
021 483 3235
Email: fsteyn@pgwc.gov.za

Herman van der Westhuizen
Media Liaison Officer to the Minister of Health
Tel: 021 483 2627
Cell: 082 772 9161
Email: Hvdwest@pgwc.gov.za

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