Internal and External Clinics

UKZN (Westville) - Eye-clinic

The University of KwaZulu-Natal (Westville Campus), Discipline of Optometry, holds both an in-house and external eye clinics throughout the academic year. These clinics have two primary objectives, i.e. to deliver eye-care at an affordable rate to a community of people who have been disadvantaged by access to affordable eye-care. In addition, the clinics are teaching clinics, in that undergraduate students perform the tests under the supervision of qualified optometric staff.

Internal Clinics

The in-house clinic offers eye care services in different fields, ie.:

  • General vision assessments
  • Low vision assessments
  • Children’s vision assessments
  • Binocular vision assessments
  • Contact lens assessments
Eye testing is free with every pair of spectacles dispensed. Patients are welcome to have their prescription at a nominal fee. Spectacles can be ordered from a range of frames (ensuring that the communities who have been disadvantaged have means to affordable eye-care). Cosmetic (luxury) frames are also available.

The clinic has sophisticated measuring instruments and allows for the use of these by hospital/private practitioner referrals. This must be paid for when the patient presents for the test.

External Clinics

The external clinics include vision tests being convened by students at St John’s Ambulance Eye clinic, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital, St. Aidan’s Hospital, Addington Hospital, Sai Community Clinic sites, Mariannhill Islamic Medical Association, Narain Jeawon Vedic Centre, Nkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital, and the Phelophepa Health Care Train.

Vision screening tests are done occasionally on campus as well as various community centres and pre-schools. Students also make themselves available to help with Bureau tours, community screening at fairs and the Red Cross Flying Doctors Service. Also, the final year students present a research project towards the end of the year.

“Clinics are attended on a rotational basis”

Students spend an average of two weeks per year on the Phelophepa Health Care Train, again conducting eye-tests. The Phelophepa Health Care Train is a unique train that provides a comprehensive, flexible and cost-effective health care service which focuses on the needy sections of the population whilst supporting, empowering, developing and educating students and communities.

It is an experience that adds value to the lives of many people that students serve and meet on the South African railway track. The staff and students on the train aspire to deliver an affordable, accessible, Mobile Health Care service that supplements or supports existing facilities in the rural communities of South Africa.

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