Clothing retailer invests millions to fight blindness

Online since 22.03.2018 • Filed under Corporate Social Investment • From Issue 7 - March to August 2018 page(s) 32
Clothing retailer invests millions to fight blindness

A new public-private partnership will impact the lives of thousands of South Africans waiting for cataract surgery.

South African clothing retailer, Truworths, is investing R3.6 million towards improving eye healthcare services in Gauteng province. This investment is in partnership with international NGO, Orbis Africa, and the Gauteng Department of Health.

The province of Gauteng is home to a quarter of the country’s total population, 75% of which depend on the public healthcare system and are a huge burden in terms of high mortality-rate diseases. The public-private partnership supports the Department of Health’s efforts to address the significant backlog of cataract surgeries in the province. The backlog is estimated to be in the region of 2 500 surgeries, with patients living in Soweto waiting up to 12 months to undergo surgery in state-owned facilities.

In response to this, the Department of Health identified the need to establish dedicated cataract surgical centres that will take the pressure off Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. A similar centre is already established by the Department in Bheki Mlangeni Hospital.

The investment from Truworths will strengthen cataract surgical services at Lenasia South Community Health Centre, a facility that serves communities living in Soweto and Orange Farm. The funding is being used to renovate the existing eye clinic, purchase diagnostic and surgical equipment, procure medical supplies, and train the full eye healthcare team. A broader impact will be increasing public awareness on the importance of eye health, and investing in research to improve the uptake of services, patient care and surgical outcomes.

The Truworths-funded cataract surgical centre will reduce the backlog in adult cataract surgery and will enable the team at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to focus on essential teaching and as paediatric eye health services.

The newly-renovated cataract surgical centre at Lenasia South Community Health Centre was unveiled in November 2017. For more information, email

Issue 7 - March to August 2018

Issue 7 - March to August 2018

This article was featured on page 32 of SABI Magazine Issue 7 - March to August 2018 .

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