Events, Health, Press Release


78 free cataract operations performed in three days

AWQAF SA, in conjunction with the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMA) and the Islamic Circle of South Africa (ICSA), jointly hosted the annual Cataract Project at Leratong Hospital, an 855-bedded Regional Hospital in West Rand, Gauteng.

Over the past decade, the project has conducted just over 8,000 free cataract operations, giving precious eyesight to those people lost in the gloom of long waiting lists.

Hafiz Nadeem Ahmed, manager of the Cataract Project, said that the organisation was grateful to its many sponsoring partners AWQAF SA, the Caring Women Forum, the Haroon Tayob Family, Bliss Chemicals, Sultan Bahu, and a host of generous individual donors for their support.

“It was a wonderful day, and heart-warming for the cataract patients, as they were extremely happy at getting their vision back on the operated eye. The patients were thankful to the Cataract Project and were praying for all those involved in this novel cause,” he said.

Ahmed said that now things were back to normal at the hospital, it could now easily manage to do its cataract operations as it was before Covid-19. Because of the Mandela weekend, the waiting time for cataract operations at the hospital had been reduced.

“However, the surgery backlog is very high in almost all of the state hospitals. It is because all elective surgeries were postponed during Covid. Their burden is very high. There should be special camps (like the Cataract Project) where hospitals can use their weekend to do as many catch-up operations as they can.

“The Leratong hospital management was over the moon because we were helping them in a reduction of their case backlog. The Gauteng Department of Health has allowed us to do cataract operations in all hospitals in Gauteng, Alhamdullilah.

“We are running our project on a successful model, and we can reach out to other hospitals if their management is ready to expedite cataract operations over the weekend, and obviously if we have enough resources to do it,” he said.

Ahmed added that all the doctors and staff who were involved in these free cataract operations were well motivated, happy, and proud to help needy and blind patients, especially the elderly, who can’t afford to visit a private clinic.

AWQAF SA is extremely pleased to be part of this project since 2005. Dr. Shabier Husain and his team have been doing extraordinary work on this project, essentially serving the poor and needy and giving them a new life with vision.  We thank him and his team. We are also grateful to all our donors including the Turkish Red Crescent (KIZILAY)  for their ongoing support.

We are also hoping that the Mobile Cataract Clinic will be seen and operational soon. We are also hoping to roll out more camps in other cities Inshallah.