Oct 2, 2018

High-Volume Cataract Outreach in Ethiopia

Five Recent Outreaches Result in 2,947 Sight Restoring Surgeries

In the past month, HCP partners in Ethiopia performed a total of 2,947 sight restoring surgeries! HCP is partnered with institutions across Ethiopia and the Federal Ministry of Health to provide high-quality, low-cost cataract surgery to patients who otherwise have no access to eye care services. We have worked to expand partnerships and increase outreach in a continued effort to address the backlog of cataract blindness in Ethiopia, estimated at 600,000. In the past month alone, HCP supported 5 outreach events.

Hosanna

HCP Partner and cataract surgeon, Dr. Abraham Aregay, Durame cataract surgeon Dr. Getahun, Hosanna ophthalmologist, Dr. Sara, HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin and HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist, Dr. Huck Holz led this six day outreach in Hosanna, Ethiopia in partnership with Weema International. The team provided 840 sight restoring surgeries.

Arba Minch

HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin and HCP Volunteer Ophthalmologist, Dr. Erik Letko led a team from Arba Minch Hospital at this outreach, providing 1,087 sight restoring surgeries, including 7 cornea transplants.

Adama


New HCP Partners, Engage Now Africa helped support this outreach (the first of many) in the Adama region. HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin led a team from the Adama General Hospital and Medical College, also a new site, during this five day outreach providing 178 sight restoring surgeries.

Mekane Selam

HCP Partner, Dr. Muluken Fantaw led a team from Boru Meda Hospital at this outreach, which was held in Mekane Selam in the Debub Wollo Zone of the Amhara Region of Ethiopia providing 632 sight restoring surgeries.

Chagni

HCP Partner, Dr. Asamere led a team from Gondar Hospital at this outreach, providing 210 sight restoring surgeries.

Sep 11, 2018

Meet Mary

Cataract patient in Ghana, Mary
Cataract patient in Ghana, Mary

Meet Mary, a bilaterally blind 79 year-old farmer and widow from Ekumfi, a town in the central region of Ghana where her life revolved around her six children and farming. But farming wasn’t just her livelihood, she loved and had a passion for it. Unfortunately, due to loss of vision brought on by cataracts in both eyes, she was forced to give up farming.

“My entire life and the sustaining of my family was through this business of farming. It is more or less like a hobby to me, even though people consider it as work. I really missed that part of my life. Another thing is that it is a tradition for the family to come together twice a year to meet and discuss issues. During this occasion, I get the opportunity to see my grandchildren and the new born babies who have joined the family. Because of my condition, I could no longer enjoy those moments with my grandchildren. Not only did [cataracts] rob me of my sight, but it also robbed me of my joy and happiness.”

Mary shared that she started experiencing blurred vision, headaches and itching in both eyes a year and a half after her husband passed away. Unfortunately, according to Mary, nobody paid attention to her complaints until one day she fell while she was walking. That was when her family realized her condition had worsened and her children took her to an eye clinic in nearby Esikuma, but she received no diagnosis.

According to Mary’s children, another organization came to do free eye screenings in Esikuma and recommended some eye drops, but Mary’s symptoms did not improve. Still determined to find a solution, the family reached out to a friend who also had cataracts and recently had her sight restored by HCP Partner, Dr. Boateng Wiafe, his team from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and HCP Global Eye Health Partner, Operation Eyesight at an outreach in Saltpond. She was directed to go to the next outreach in Saltpond, where they screened and diagnosed her with bilateral cataracts and scheduled her for surgery.

Although nervous at first, after counseling and speaking to Dr. Boateng, Mary was confident that she would regain her sight. Her surgery was successful and her vision was restored in both eyes. She is now able to move around independently and hopes to return to farming once she is completely healed. In the meantime, she is enjoying spending much more time with her family.

“I am happy because now I am able to visit my children and spend time with them, as well as with my grandchildren, especially those who have moved to other regions due to their jobs or other reasons.” 

Aug 14, 2018

Successful Outreach Through Partnership

Seven Recent Outreaches in Ghana and Ethiopia Result in over 1,300 Sight Restoring Surgeries

In July, Ghanaian partners at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Operation Eyesight Universal and Ethiopian partners at Quiha Zonal Hospital, Gondar University Hospital, Woldiya Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital collectively provided over 1,300 sight restoring surgeries through seven outreach cataract events.

The following is an account of one of two outreach events organized by the Gondar University Department of Ophthalmology. In collaboration with Dangila Primary Hospital, a team from Gondar University Hospital provided eye care services for the community of Dangila, a town in northwestern Ethiopia, located in the Agew Awi Zone in Ethiopia Amhara Region. During this three day outreach a total of 2,127 patients were screened, of which 1,031 patients were treated with medicine for various eye ailments and 94 patients received sight-restoring cataract surgeries.



 
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