We received the Excellence Award

We received the Excellence Award

Picture of Lucky Bokaba and Jace Nair with the Discovery Award

The South African National Council for the Blind was awarded the Discovery Foundation Excellence Award at a prestigious function on 23 June 2011, for the rural outreach work done by our Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness.

Overview of the Discovery Foundation Awards

In 2011, the Discovery Foundation made 29 awards in four categories. These awards will benefit healthcare in South Africa through financial support for Academic Medicine and research, specialist and sub-specialist training, rural healthcare and healthcare service delivery, innovation and training.

Council received the Discovery Foundation Excellence Award:
The Discovery Foundation Excellence Award alms to boost organisations that display excellence in service delivery, training and innovation to benefit South African healthcare, particularly if they strengthen human resources in the sector.

Discovery Foundation Excellence Award: South African National Council for the Blind (SANCB)
The two leading causes of blindness in South Africa are cataracts (50%) (a clouding of the lens of the eye) and glaucoma (14%) (an increase of pressure inside the eye). Cataract blindness is curable through surgery while glaucoma can be treated with drugs and surgery.

With the help of the private sector and established public infrastructure, the SANCB's clinical outreach division - the Bureau for the Prevention of Blindness - performs on average 4 000 cataract surgeries per year in remote areas where the Government does not have the capacity to intervene effectively. Making use of four mobile surgical eye care units, the Bureau reaches out to those who would otherwise remain needlessly blind. The mobile units undertake 100 tours of five to six days each to rural areas annually. Patients are screened, spectacles dispensed, and medicines and other treatments prescribed. The last few days of each tour are dedicated to surgery and post-surgical examination.

The award will help the Bureau to undertake 11 mobile eye care tours in Limpopo Province during 2011. The SANCB does not presently have the funds to provide services in this province.

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