HCP international fellow Dr. Matt Bujak has just returned from a six-week visit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. While in Ghana, he participated in an outreach clinic held at a rural district hospital in New Edubiase. During this outreach event, Dr. Bujak and Dr. Seth Lartey from KATH performed over 20 cataract surgeries.
HCP’s Project Manager Pamela Clapp was also in Ghana and she had the opportunity to witness the outreach clinic for the first time. Below is what she had to say about her experience:
"I remember being very impressed with how appreciative the patients were for the clinical staff from KATH who came from Kumasi to bring cataract surgery to this remote village. I observed KATH's Dr. Seth Lartey and a third-year female medical student work side-by-side operating on patients who otherwise wouldn't receive this type of care because they don't have the means to get to the larger hospital. Dr. Matt Bujak, our HCP International fellow, was also present at the event. I was able to sit in his consultation room and observe numerous patient screenings which was valuable for me as a non-clinical person. It was a great experience because I was able to see what HCP does best - bring high-quality ophthalmic care to remote locations, while building local capacity through training." Pamela Clapp, HCP Project Manager.
With the support of the Himalayan Cataract Project, KATH plans to step up its outreach efforts in 2011 with at least 12 scheduled outreach clinics and the number of surgeries expected to reach 900.
On behalf of the Himalayan Cataract Project and our partners in Ghana, thank you for continuing to give the gift of sight.
I am happy to report that we got 2011 off to a great start on our quest to restore sight to the people of the Himalayas!
Between January 17 - 19th, Dr. Bajimaya from Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) conducted an OMEC in Manthali a village development committee in Ramechhap District in northeastern Nepal. As a result, 1597 people were screened and a total of 188 surgeries performed.
In February, Hetauda Community Eye Hospital organized eye screening programs on rural and underprivileged villages of Makawanpur district. Two screening camp were held on Epa Village Development Committee (VDC) and in Bharta VDC. Both of screening were the first health camp ever held in these villages.
208 patient were examined in Epa VDC screening camp and among them 27 cataracts were found. Similarly one 148 patients were screened in Bharta VDC and 12 cataracts were found. With the support of the Himalayan Cataract Project, Hetauda Community Eye Hospital provided free of cost surgery to all cataract patients at the base hospital. All patients returned happily after undergoing the sight-restoring procedure.
Currently, TIO's Dr. Govinda is leading a four-day OMEC at the Jagatguru Kripalu Charity Hospital in Uttar Pradesh in Northearn India. It is anticipated that at least 1800 people will be screened and an estimated 600 surgeries performed.
On behalf of the Himalayan Cataract Project, I would like to thank everyone for your continued interest in our project. It is only with your generous support that we are able to bring high quality eye care to the remotest areas of the Himalayas.
In 2010, a total of 904 sight-restoring surgeries were performed in Outreach Eye Camps in Ghana. Below is a quick update of the latest outreach camp in Goaso:
Goaso is the district capital of Asunafo district located on the western corridor of Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Goaso is about 124 miles north west of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi. The district has no ophthalmologist and the only eye care workers are an optician and an optometrist who are based in the District Hospital. With a population of 170,000 it is estimated that 1,000 to 1,200 people may be blind from causes such as cataract, glaucoma and corneal opacities.
Dr. Peter Osei-Bonsu of KATH led an outreach camp at the Goaso District Hospital. Prior to the outreach, a team from the hospital screened 934 people. Over a period of two days, Dr. Osei-Bonsu performed 69 cataract surgeries.
One of the patients who received surgery in Goaso was Seidu Billiak a 73-year-old man from Mim in the Brong Ahafo region. He had worked as a watchman in a private home until two years ago when he was let go. He is still strong enough to work but he experienced difficulties due to his vision loss. After undergoing sight-restoring surgery, he was hopeful to return to work soon.
On behalf of our partners from KATH and all those who have benefited from your generous support, I would like thank you for your contribution and I hope you continue to support us in the future.
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the year 2011.