This unit was officially opened by Olivia Muchena, Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology; and will provide optometry services to members of the public.
Health and Child Welfare Minister David Parirenyatwa said: “Zim-Asset envisages utilizing and strengthening Public-Private Partnerships.”
Dr Muchena also praised Cimas for its partnership with the university,saying that when people were talking about Public-Private Partnerships they normally thought of big industries entering into such partnerships.
“We urge people in service industries to bring about the reality of Public-Private Partnerships in the manner that Cimas has done,” she said, adding that the new optometry unit that Cimas had made possible would make a big difference to ordinary people.
Cimas Medical Aid Society chairman Mordecai Mahlangu said Cimas had provided the funding because it believed the establishment of an Optometry Training Unit was worthwhile.
“It seemed especially commendable to us that the unit would not only provide training for those wishing to become optometrists but offer optometry services to the Zimbabwean nation . It is our fervent hope and wish that as the unit begins to produce qualified optometrists there will be scope for their deployment in hospitals around the country, making optometry services more readily available to more people,” he said.
He added that although the Department of Ophthalmology had said even part-funding would go a long way towards achieving the department’s vision for an optometry training unit, the Cimas board and management had decided to give the project maximum support by providing the full amount of $120 000 required for the unit’s equipment and installation.
University of Zimbabwe vice-chancellor Professor Levi Nyangura, in a speech read on his behalf by pro‑vice-chancellor Dr Takaruza Munyanyiwa, said the university cherished its partnership with Cimas, which had also contributed to the training of health personnel through undergraduate scholarships and specialist training fellowships at post-graduate level.
Dean of the College of Health Sciences Professor Midion Chidzonga added that Cimas had sponsored one of the university’s students to study haematology in South Africa. The student was back now and on the college’s staff.
The chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Professor Rangarirai Masanganise, said the optometry equipment provided by Cimas was the best anyone could have obtained.