Update on the activities of Jonga Trust for the period 2017 to 2018


Of the first intake of community based eye worker screeners taken on in 2008 by Jonga Trust, all have found either formal employment or been career pathed. With a 38% of unemployment in South Africa this program has proved itself as a foundation phase for those who have passed grade 12, but have no chance of employment or a stable future. It provides an invaluable eye care service for underprivileged communities and health services are now provided within their own communities by young people from the community, who understand the culture and speak their language. An important factor as South Africa has 11 official languages.

The need for eye health services is enormous. The current strike of people being screened and then referred further for formal refraction is 98%. In the Western Cape Province, 78% of clients referred for cataract surgery to the high volume cataract units come from the Jonga Trust community based eye care worker screening service.


Abbreviation: NLC = Next care level


We have done:

  • 1101 refractions in the clinic for 2017
  • 1750 refractions in 2018

We have also concentrated on child literacy projects when handing a child a pair of prescription spectacles we give them a book to read.

Volunteer optometrist, Mr Chris Eksteen refracting in the new eye clinic in Khayaleitsha, which was established in 2017.

Partnerships with the private sector have been formed with Jonga Trust.
Ster Kinekor held sponsored refraction days in private /public partnership with Jonga Trust.

Lions club of Tokai and Bergvliet have supported many of the school screening and refraction services for schoolchildren in 2017-2018.

The private sector have recently partnered with the Jonga Trust to do Cataract surgery free of charge of patients identified through their service, as the public sector have long waiting lists. The Ophthalmologists, anaesthetists, the private clinics give their services free of charge and a private company supply the intraocular lenses free of charge it is hoped to get another 60 who Jonga Trust have identified done within the next 12 months at the private clinics. The first seven cases were done in November 2018. This will be an ongoing partnership.

Jonga Trust has embarked on health screening projects to identify the elderly at risk for chronic disease. This was established to accommodate 3rd year degree nursing students from the ASUSA University in Los Angles United States of America in collaboration with the University of Cape Town.

This has resulted in 64% of those screened having abnormal blood sugar results. This enabled these clients to be put on treatment at the same time, ensuring their eye health is taken care of.

An ASUSA student being educated re the fitting of reading spectacles

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