GRACE VISION PROGRAMME DURING COVID-19 - UPDATE

Grace Vision has been operating during the pandemic. Following guidelines from the National and Eastern Cape Department of Health with whom we have our MOU, we have been operating in a restricted form. As with all state ophthalmology departments, we have been limited to examining urgent and emergency patients in the Grace Vision premises at the Zithulele hospital and the Canzibe Hospital. The following is how operations have proceeded and facilities utilized:

  • We have been phoning patients who require critical chronic eye medication and dropping it off at their clinics for them to collect and spectacles which were not collected or in production during lockdown. This is being done every week to cover the 26 clinics we serve and repeated to continue each month with chronic medication.
  • Our team has been involved in making and distributing of masks for COVID-19 relief and support for the vulnerable community. In addition, they are helping at the hospital gate for screening and triage.
  • Our accommodation units (normally used for surgeons or theatre sisters) have been utilized by the hospital for isolation of personnel who are COVID positive.
  • Schools in the area have been closed for long periods and then briefly open so we are encouraging any urgent needs to be sent to Grace Vision at the hospital and will screen children at the clinics as we are soon starting with our clinic outreach.
  • As the virus will continue for the foreseeable future, we have re-invented how we will operate safely for our patients and staff. We will shortly start our mobile clinic outreach with very strict safety protocols in place. Following expert advice from various medical specialists, there is a detailed protocol of how we will examine patients and how we will maximize patient and staff safety. Patient numbers will have to be less due to sanitising equipment and examination area after each patient. Extensive PPE for staff and social distancing and masks for patients will be ensured.
  • Cataract surgeries will be on hold for a while longer as we await the go ahead from Department of Health ophthalmology.
  • While COVID-19 has changed the world and the way we can operate, but we are thankful that we can now get back to serving the eye care of poor and vulnerable in our rural area.
  • Grace Vision is very thankful to all funders, both corporate and private for the impact that they have had and will continue to have on the poorest and often neglected rural population. We are dedicated to working tirelessly at serving this need to the best of our ability and in the most effective way in all circumstances.

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Grace Vision Blog

Through the Eyes of Grace Vision’s Optometrist

 

Charlotte and I have been here at Zithulele with the Grace Vision programme for a few months now.

We have settled well into rural life in the Eastern Cape. We started in full flight with a busy time, in both the mobile clinic and school screenings. It also included a day of cataract surgery. I have seen many patients with severe eyecare needs.

Some days are very heart-warming, especially the days after cataract surgery to see people who were blind the day before, having sight for the first time in years! Other days are saddening when you attend to some patients who have been deprived of basic eyecare and have irreversible damage.

We saw a 21-year-old young man who has had such impaired vision that he would have been unable to read, let alone see anything half a metre in front of him. It was one of the worst cases of myopia (short sightedness) that I have ever seen in my 30-year career. Although disheartening to find someone who has been unable to see for most of his school life, it is also rewarding to be able to supply him with spectacles for the first time.

Some days are long and tiring, with lots of travelling on very rough and rugged dirt roads. Yet it’s always rewarding and worth it to know that you have just attended to people’s eyes that would have no eyecare due to their remote rural locations.

Charlotte and I are blessed to be working with an incredible team of dedicated people. We look forward to seeing many more lives impacted by God through Grace Vision.

Don Thorrold

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Grace and Dignity

NPC: 1998/18381/08
NPO: 006-142 NPO
PBO: 930 027 945

Operational Address:

Zithulele Mission
Hospital
Zithulele Village
Mqanduli District 5080
Eastern Cape
South Africa

Physical Address:

4 Kendal Mews
134 Main Rd, Diep River
Cape Town
7800

Mailing Address:

PO Box 290
Plumstead 7801
Cape Town
South Africa

GRACE VISION PROGRAMME DURING COVID-19 - UPDATE

Grace Vision has been operating during the pandemic. Following guidelines from the National and Eastern Cape Department of Health with whom we have our MOU, we have been operating in a restricted form. As with all state ophthalmology departments, we have been limited to examining urgent and emergency patients in the Grace Vision premises at the Zithulele hospital and the Canzibe Hospital. The following is how operations have proceeded and facilities utilized:

  • We have been phoning patients who require critical chronic eye medication and dropping it off at their clinics for them to collect and spectacles which were not collected or in production during lockdown. This is being done every week to cover the 26 clinics we serve and repeated to continue each month with chronic medication.
  • Our team has been involved in making and distributing of masks for COVID-19 relief and support for the vulnerable community. In addition, they are helping at the hospital gate for screening and triage.
  • Our accommodation units (normally used for surgeons or theatre sisters) have been utilized by the hospital for isolation of personnel who are COVID positive.
  • Schools in the area have been closed for long periods and then briefly open so we are encouraging any urgent needs to be sent to Grace Vision at the hospital and will screen children at the clinics as we are soon starting with our clinic outreach.
  • As the virus will continue for the foreseeable future, we have re-invented how we will operate safely for our patients and staff. We will shortly start our mobile clinic outreach with very strict safety protocols in place. Following expert advice from various medical specialists, there is a detailed protocol of how we will examine patients and how we will maximize patient and staff safety. Patient numbers will have to be less due to sanitising equipment and examination area after each patient. Extensive PPE for staff and social distancing and masks for patients will be ensured.
  • Cataract surgeries will be on hold for a while longer as we await the go ahead from Department of Health ophthalmology.
  • While COVID-19 has changed the world and the way we can operate, but we are thankful that we can now get back to serving the eye care of poor and vulnerable in our rural area.
  • Grace Vision is very thankful to all funders, both corporate and private for the impact that they have had and will continue to have on the poorest and often neglected rural population. We are dedicated to working tirelessly at serving this need to the best of our ability and in the most effective way in all circumstances.

Please close the box by pressing the x at the top or just click outside the box to continue to website

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