Dr Kgao Legodi was appointed as president of OSSA in March 2013 and has since then left an indelible mark on the organisation.
Former Deputy President, Kgalema Motlanthe is congratulated on being inaugurated as the new International Council of Ophthalmology’s (ICO) Ambassador for Vision 2020: Sub Saharan Africa by President of the Ophthalmology Society of South Africa (OSSA) and member of the ICO Board of Trustees, Dr Kgao Legodi – 28 October 2014. (Photograph by Yolanda van der Stoep)
As his tenure as president draws to a close, with a new president being announced next month, we look at the man who has been at the helm of the Ophthalmology Association over the last two years.
“This has been a positive experience that has offered me great opportunity for personal and career growth. I have been privileged to lead an excellent and dedicated executive committee team that have dedicated their time and efforts in positioning Ophthalmology in South Africa.
It has been challenging as it had to be done whilst I am in private practice where time management and focus needed to be at the order of the day,” Dr Legodi says about his experience as president to date.
Dr Legodi, who runs a private practice in Pretoria, says that a major part of the last two years has been spent streamlining the organisation to ensure optimal services and value add to the executive committee and members.
“We have engaged with Government and NGO’s to investigate opportunities to assist Government in making Eye Care accessible to our population especially previously underprivileged and to position Ophthalmology for the NHI,” he explains.
Understandably, this is his and the organisation’s main focus going forward, with a primary aim of partnering with Government and other NGO’s to assist the South African Population with access to appropriate Eye Care.
At the recent appointment of His Excellency Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, former president of South Africa, as the new Ambassador for VISION 2020: Sub Saharan Africa, Dr Legodi highlighted another crucial focus point for OSSA:
“Preventable blindness in childhood is a key area of interest for OSSA and we have taken definite steps towards improving childhood eye care and encouraging paediatric ophthalmology as a sub-speciality field.
By treating and preventing debilitating eye problems in children, ophthalmologists are able to have an enormous impact during the course of a child’s life.
Blinding ocular conditions in childhood may be less common than adult cataract and glaucoma but in terms of preventing ‘blindness years’ paediatric ophthalmology is critical,” explained Dr Legodi.
What remains all too evident is Dr Legodi’s passion for his chosen career. “I take pride in the prevention of blindness and the restoration of sight of my fellow-man. I have been blessed with an interesting and diverse career that has ranged far beyond ophthalmology.
It enables me to have an impact on a significant number of people that would otherwise lose the God-given gift of sight. This inspires me,” he says.
Dr Legodi, who was born in Atteridgeville, Gauteng, studied at the Medical University of South Africa as an undergraduate and at the Nelson Mandela Medical School (University of Natal) for his postgraduate degree.
Dr Legodi lives in Pretoria with his wife and two children and keeps fit by spinning, and participating in squash and tennis. To unwind he enjoys photography and listening to Jazz.
The next OSSA president will be announced at the 45th annual OSSA Congress, to be held at the International Convention Centre in Durban from 12-15 March 2015.