In honour of Mandela Day, 67 patients from all over Pietermaritzburg will receive the gift of clear vision.
The Midlands Medical Centre Private Hospital, together with the Active Citizens Movement (ACM), Penny Appeal (a crowd-funding organisation) and the Optical Alliance, has so far done 23 cataract
removal surgeries with 30 being scheduled for next Sunday and the rest to follow in the coming week.
Dr MII Moola, director of the Midlands Medical Centre Private Hospital, who is also an anaesthetist and head of the portfolio for public/private partnerships, said they were approached by the ACM to assist patients and help the community.
“Patients who were selected for the procedure were chosen by the Department of Health. The public/private partnership is an idea that gets both sectors to meet in the middle and improve the quality of healthcare delivered in the public sector. Our hospital is committed to social development and upliftment for us. It is not about rands and cents but rather making a difference in our community,”said Dr Moola.
Moola applauded the doctors, nursing team, Manco team, hospital board of directors and management for coming on board with the project.
“Dr Jay Karappian, Dr J Narain, Dr S Lallo, Dr Narainsamy, Dr V Raghavjee, Dr D Surajlall and myself were the doctors who volunteered our time and services to the project. Mrs Raksha Govender, the nursing services manager, sister Sarojini Saib, unit manager for theatre, Dr Douglas Ross, the hospital manager and the Manco team were instrumental in planning the logistics of the surgeries. We also thank the nursing staff who volunteered to be part of the initiative and our board of directors for allowing us the use of the hospital and its equipment at no charge,” he said.
Mrs R Khan, 67, from Murray Road in Hayfields said she was grateful to God and the Department of Health for choosing her, and thanked the doctors and nurses at the hospital for making her feel comfortable and welcome.
“I am so thrilled to be having this surgery. It is really going to make a difference in my vision.”
ACM’s chairperson, Roshan Jainath, thanked all roleplayers who made the project a reality. He said the idea originated by ACM to create a public/private community health forum.
“Dr Moola and I conceptualized the idea of doing something meaningful during Mandela month. This will be an ongoing initiative throughout the year. Our partnership with the International Islamic Relief Organisation of Southern Africa (IIROSA) who supplied the consumable medical packs and lens to the value of R500 000, hospitals, the Department of Health, Midlands Medical Centre, and other donors and NGOs were key to getting the project off the ground. I applaud all roleplayers in the initiative. An individual cannot impact change in the way a partnership can make a difference,” said Jainath.