The Limpopo MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, handed the new high-tech eye-care equipment over to Elim Hospital on Monday, 16 October. Photographed is Ramathuba (left) with Dr Mashudu Bale, senior medical officer in ophthalmology, and Ms Thembi Florence Ramakuela from the optometry department. Photo: Thembi Siaga.

Elim's eye care unit gets high-tech equipment to assist with treatment


Elim Hospital’s deteriorating eye-care unit received a high-tech boost when they received brand-new equipment during the Eye Awareness Campaign on Monday, 16 October.

Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba handed the equipment over to the hospital. She was joined by doctors, nurses, member of the CHAI global health organization, hospital board members, and many other guests.

Elim Hospital, one of the oldest health facilities in Limpopo, once boasted one of the region’s top ophthalmology departments. Over time, however, the quality of the eye facility declined. The eye-care unit serves as a specialised health-hcare facility focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of eye-related conditions and diseases.

As part of the Eye Care Awareness Campaign, the hospital conducted 100 surgeries this week. One of the beneficiaries, Ms Lina Maluleke from Sherly village, expressed her gratitude for receiving assistance in regaining vision in her left eye. “We went to the eye theatre for cataract surgery and after the operation, which took more than 15 minutes, I could see through my left eye again for the first time in three years,” she said.

Ramathuba explained how the availability of modern eye-care equipment will enhance the quality of eye-care services at the hospital. “With the new equipment, many operations can now be performed at Elim Hospital, instead of transporting patients to Mankweng Hospital in Polokwane. All the ophthalmology operations will be done here, including procedures for retinal detachment,” she said.

Ramathuba elaborated on the importance of early detection and treatment of eye conditions. She said caring for one’s eyes and shielding them from the sun were crucial. She advised those who sense that something is amiss with their eyes to visit an eye clinic. “Sometimes other health issues, like high blood sugar, can lead to eye problems that are not easily rectifiable. Regular check-ups and maintaining normal blood-sugar levels can help prevent these issues. Our hospital has eye nurses and doctors who can identify problems early, when they are more manageable,” she said.



Date:21 October 2023

By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.

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