Gauteng, South Africa, 8 February, 2018: Today marks the celebration of increased eye health services in Gauteng, already providing eye care for nearly half a million people in the last four years. The Gauteng Department of Health supported further development of eye care services in 10 sites and provided training for over 800 personnel through a public-private partnership with Brien Holden Vision Institute, Standard Chartered Bank, Seeing is Believing campaign, Optometry Giving Sight and VSP Global.
The partnership resulted in the successful delivery of three public health programs which have directly contributed to expansion of eye care services delivered to Soweto and the broader communities of Gauteng. The three programs referred to are: Giving Sight to Soweto, Giving Sight to Gauteng and We See.
The most significant outcome of the three programs is the direct and sustainable integration of the delivery of eye care services within the existing primary health care service infrastructure.
This critical development at the primary health care level relieves the burden on secondary and tertiary eye care services allowing them to focus on medical and surgical interventions, necessary to reduce avoidable blindness attributed to eye health conditions such as cataract surgery, childhood blindness and glaucoma management.
The approach followed by the three programs was enabled by engaging key stakeholders at the outset, coupled with financial support from the Institute through its funding partners. Practical outcomes included establishing increased linkages and equipment within the Gauteng Department of Health’s institutions.
“We are delighted to contribute sustainably to the eradication of treatable and avoidable blindness in South Africa’s poorest communities through our Seeing is Believing campaign. Launched in 2003, globally, we have committed to raise USD100 million between 2003 and 2020 through fundraising and the Bank’s matching funds,” said Mr. Kweku Bedu-Addo, South and Southern Africa CEO, Standard Chartered Bank.
“To date, we have invested just over USD 2m – about ZAR 24m in South Africa alone. Blindness affects the education and livelihoods of the individuals and families involved and also the economic well-being of communities. We are glad we can play a role and are grateful to all the stakeholders who partner with us to help deliver these services on the ground,” Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo concluded.
“The three eye care programs that have been active in Gauteng have addressed a desperate gap in provision of care,” said Professor Kovin Naidoo, CEO, Brien Holden Vision Institute. “Our country faces many social and economic challenges and in such a context of competing needs, it is critical that civil society, business and government work together to address the community’s eye health needs. Brien Holden Vision Institute applauds the concern and care that the government, Standard Chartered Bank and VSP Global have shown in supporting these programs. This public-private partnership is a quality investment in the future of our community,” concluded the Professor.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN NUMBERS
• 404, 721 people had their eyes screened or examined
• 31, 903 people received spectacles or assistive devices
• 143, 925 children received eye care
• 877 people attended eye care training
• 10 new or upgraded eye care sites were established
• 6 new optometrist positions were created and filled
We are grateful to the all partners, individuals and supporters of this public-private partnership – through this collaboration we have achieved so much more for Gauteng.
Please view the short documentary video: Focusing on Eye Health in Gauteng 2013-2017
To download the Achievements booklet please click on the 'Download attachments' link at the bottom of this page