RENOWNED eye surgeon, Solomon Guramatunhu, has partnered Bindura University to set up the country’s first school of optometry, which is expected to start operating by year-end, a move that could stop President Mugabe from seeking specialist eye care in Singapore.
The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Mugabe, who left for Singapore last Saturday, “had eye surgery in the Asian country a few years ago” and had returned for a “routine medical check-up”.
Guramatunhu announced the plans during the official opening of his new eye clinic in Avondale, Harare on Friday.
“It is now 37 years after independence and sadly there is still no school of optometry in Zimbabwe, that is why we have partnered with the university to address this issue, with the main goal being nurturing world class eye specialists that are able to serve the nation at large,” he said.
Guramatunhu said the school will start functioning by year-end, emphasising that key areas of improvement were access, manpower and affordability of optometry services.
“Everything is almost in place, as we have already recruited lecturers, some of whom are coming from outside Zimbabwe, and this school is going to increase manpower in the country’s optometry services and consequently address the high prices incurred in acquiring such services,” he said.
Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa, in a speech read on his behalf, said the government welcomed such partnerships with private players in aiding the country’s health delivery system.
“The ministry welcomes such partnerships with private players because we are training engineers, accountants but not optometrists and as such this partnership between Guramatunhu and Bindura University is very important in complementing government’s efforts in increasing access to health care,” he said.
Eye services have remained inaccessible and unaffordable to many Zimbabweans, with most optometrists training and getting employed outside the country, leaving many locals in dire need of the service.-AMH