The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology completed the construction of 110 temporary shelters in Sindhupalchowk - the most heavily affected area of the two devasting earthquakes that took place in April and May of 2015 before the monsoon season began. The relief team will resume with an additional 100 shelters when the rain stops.
Renovation work estimated at over $16,000 is scheduled to begin in January to repair three of Tilganga's clinics located in Dolakha, Solukhumo and Hetauda. The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology oversees 14 Community Eye Centers (CECs) and one Community Eye Hospital througout mountainous Nepal. Collectively the Solukhumbo Community Eye Center, the Dolakha Community Eye Center and the Hetauda Community Eye Hospital provide 30,000 patient examinations and over 9,000 cataract surgeries per year. Service has been compromised because of the damage and these repairs will help get them back at 100%.
Community Eye Centers (CECs) are an important innovation in the developing world because they ensure care for the poorest and most unreachable patients. Staffed with full-time ophthalmic assistants they provide basic eye care treatment and screenings for infection, as well as referrals for patients who need more advanced care.
The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Eye Center outreach team organized a cataract surgical intervention in the Brong-Ahafo region of South Ghana that screened 3,770 patients and provided 237 cataract surgeries. The clinical team included KATH's Dr. Doreen Frimpong, Dr. Amos Aikins; HCP International fellow, Dr. John Welling, and two residents, Ahmed Akwasi (3rd year) and Prince Amissah (first year). Other team members included Edgard Afour, Biostatitician and Faustina Adu-Poku, bioengineer.
Dr. Doreen Frimpong commented on social media after the event: "I am always happy when I go on an outreach doing cataract surgeries and giving sight to people. My visit to wenchi in the western region of Ghana was no exception. It was filled with emotions and excitement when a 10 year old girl haven been blind from cataract all her life saw the light of day for the first time .After asking her whether she will use her sight to watch TV, she paused and said Dr no I will be going to school so I can learn with my friends who are already in school. Immediately I was filled with joy and happiness.we were able to do this through the help of an NGO. (HCP) and Komfo Anokye teaching hospital eye center.We are greatful to them."
The KATH outreach team dramatically increased its efforts in 2015 thanks to your support, however, there is still a long way to go to alleviate unnecessary cataract blindness. It is estimated that 50,000 cataract surgeries should be performed each year to rid the backlog and keep up with new cases, however, in 2014 the Ghana Health Services only recorded 18,140 cataract surgeries in the entire country of Ghana.
A Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) supported outreach was held last month in the town of Mustang in Nepal, on the border of Nepal and Tibet. The screening was organized by HCP partner institution, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, as well as the District Community Eye Centre Mustang and the District Health Office Mustang.
Four screening camps were held prior to the outreach. 500 patients were screened and 52 surgeries were completed at the outreach.
One of the patients was 70 year old Phechik. Phechik works at a Buddhist monastery, and had been bilaterally blind (blind in both eyes) for the past eight years. Villagers brought her to the outreach by bike. After surgery her sight was restored, and she was able to return to her home on her own, completely unassisted.