Connect with us

UKZN Guide

UKZN Hosts the First International Hybrid Seminar on Keratitis



UKZN Hosts the First International Hybrid Seminar on Keratitis

UKZN Hosts the First International Hybrid Seminar on Keratitis. The University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) recently hosted its first international hybrid seminar focused on keratitis, a significant event that brought attention to the sensitivity of the eye and the necessity for timely and precise diagnosis of eye diseases.

Read Also: UKZN Status Check Online

Understanding Keratitis

Keratitis refers to the inflammation of the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped tissue covering the pupil and iris. This condition can lead to severe complications, including blindness, if not diagnosed and treated accurately and promptly.

The Role of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology, the medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders, played a central role in this seminar. At UKZN, this field is spearheaded by Dr. Nombuso Mathe, an accomplished ophthalmologist and glaucoma specialist. Dr. Mathe, who also serves as the Acting Head of Ophthalmology, is an alumna of Harvard Medical School’s Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Seminar Highlights

The seminar gathered both local and international ophthalmologists to share their insights on diagnosing and treating keratitis with utmost precision. The goal was to highlight the importance of careful and exact approaches to avoid eye damage and prevent blindness.

Dr. Shaheer Ballim, a UKZN Medical School alumnus, emphasized the critical need for ophthalmologists to consider a range of patient history clues when diagnosing keratitis. Key factors include:

  • Trauma
  • Use of contact lenses
  • Ocular medications
  • Self-medications
  • Home remedies
  • Ocular co-morbidities
  • Previous procedures
  • Duration of symptoms
  • Smoking and diabetes

Dr. Ballim noted that aspects such as pain duration, contact lens usage, steroid use, trauma or surgery history, the position of the inflammation (central or peripheral), morphology, associated ocular diseases, and corneal scraping are vital clues for an accurate diagnosis.

Interprofessional Collaboration

Dr. Ntokozo Mzimela, another UKZN Medical School alumnus and a recent recipient of the Global Health Icon award at the 2023 Zenith Global Health Awards in London, underscored the importance of interprofessionalism in managing keratitis. As a pathologist and microbiology lecturer at Nelson Mandela University’s Medical School, Dr. Mzimela highlighted the critical role of microbiologists in the diagnosis and management of keratitis. This role includes:

  • Sample collection and handling
  • Eye-pack preparation for keratitis diagnosis
  • Advising on diagnostic methods
  • Addressing challenges in lab diagnosis
  • Promoting antimicrobial stewardship

Expert Contributions

The seminar featured compelling case studies and presentations from international experts, including:

  • Dr. Fasika Woreta, Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology
  • Eugene de Juan, Professor of Ophthalmic Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Professor Swati Tomar from India

These contributions provided a global perspective on best practices and innovative approaches in treating keratitis.


Dr. Nombuso Mathe concluded by emphasizing the significance of such seminars for sharing best practices related to delicate ocular procedures. Additionally, these events are crucial for the training of registrars and fostering inter-professional collaboration. By bringing together experts from various disciplines, the seminar aimed to enhance the overall understanding and treatment of keratitis, ultimately improving patient outcomes.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *