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Rotary’s health initiative shot in arm for residents: King community welcomes two-day screening initiative

Nomakhaya Bana’s whole world suddenly came into sharp focus yesterday when she put on her new spectacles – and they were free.

CHECK IT OUT: Lorraine Linganiso has her eyes checked by optometrist Meta Pema-Keshaw, in Ndevana Community Hall during the Rotary health screening initiative. Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

The 50-year-old Bana had been struggling with impaired vision for years because her spectacles were no longer functioning properly.

But thanks to four Rotary clubs that helped bring health services to Ndevana village residents in King William’s Town, she has a new set of spectacles.

The Arcadia, East London, Bonza Bay and Gately Rotary Clubs embarked on a two-day annual health screening family day for the benefit of residents, and Bana was one of the lucky ones.

The screening is taking place at Ndevana Community Hall and ends today.

Club members are bringing health initiatives to those members of the community who need them most.

The Rotary clubs joined hands with the department of health to provide free screening to the public for potential health problems.

The initiative is in its fifth year.

Other departments, including social development, home affairs and police were also invited to be part of proceedings.

Community members were not prescribed medication but they received letters to present to their clinics.

Bana said she needed those new spectacles more than anything.

“I often check my diabetes and cholesterol so I was not worried about them but I needed eyeglasses.

“I used to wear eyeglasses but I cannot afford to have them renewed every two years, so I have been suffering for a long time.

“Now I have a brand new pair of glasses – free of charge,” the happy woman said.

Another resident Nodosh Nyale said they were pleased that a number of different services were being brought to a central point.

“I was accompanying a friend and I did not know that they do eye tests too, so I will have my eyes tested as well,” Nyale said.

Another resident, who was not taking any chances, was Nophumzile Khatshaza, 80, who wanted to do an all-round test.

“I am not feeling sick in any way. I am grateful that I could simply walk here and did not need to be wheeled in.”

The services that are provided in the initiative include:

Rotarian Angela Woodhall said the initiative was in line with their objective of service to the less fortunate and everyone in their community.

“Rotary Clubs in other parts of the country are doing the same. Our aim is to always serve our communities and for initiatives like this we focus on disadvantaged communities.

Mbulelo Matayo of the department of health said: “We are happy about this initiative because it is very helpful to us as a department”.

— siyat@dispatch.co.za