SHURUGWI-Tens of cataract patients are set to benefit from the eye surgery being conducted in Shurugwi District by the Zimbabwe National Army.
The program will see residents in Shurugwi District benefit from the free eye surgeries while those in Zvishavane and Chirumhanzu District benefit from medical examination and treatment.
Major General Hlanganani Dube, Chief of Staff, General Staff Quota Masters said the cataract extraction program is part of the defense forces assistance to communities.
Dube told The Midweek Watch, that extending the free eye surgeries, the ZNA is fulfilling it’s secondary role to assist the communities.
“The secondary role of the military is assistance to civil power and military assistance to communities. An example of military assistance to civil power is what we did during the Idai Cyclone disaster, working with line ministries such as health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We use this opportunity to sharpen our skills in carrying out our responsibilities. Then the military assistance to civil communities, is exactly what we are doing here at the hospital whereby we are assisting the community and operating them by taking out the cataract from their eyes. It is typically the second role of national army assisting the community,” he said.
Major Gen Dube added that the cataract removals is one of the ZNA annual routine activities.
Lieutenant Colonel and ZNA Ophthalmologist, Mathius Mukona said the exercise received a huge response from the public.
“We are here to operate and restore sight to the community, and these are high impact projects to win the heart and minds of the people as the defense forces.
“The response from the Midlands Province is overwhelming and exciting. This is another service that we do as a national army and our budget target is to operate 100 cataracts,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries Ellen Nyoni (78) commended the military for the surgeries, saying she had gone for years with eye sight problem.
“This program is commendable; I now have my eye sight back. It was becoming difficult to go to my farm or do farming due to eye problem. After this surgery I can do my chores and farming without any problem,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Ashley Bhebhe said he had “visited several hospitals to get treated” but he could not afford the fees.