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.

Jun 22, 2018

Outreach at Bisidimo Hospital in Eastern Ethiopia

Outreach at Bisidimo Hospital in Eastern Ethiopia Results in 911 Sight Restoring Surgeries

In just six days time, from March 29 to April 4, an amazing team comprised of HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologists and volunteers and a host of in-country personnel performed and assisted in a total of 911 sight restoring cataract surgeries. HCP partner Dr. Mandefro Sintayehu and a team from Bisidimo Hospital were joined by Dr. Helen Sisay and a team from Jimma University; Dr. Abraham Aregay and a team from Woldiya; HCP Board Member, Dr. Matt Oliva and his family; and HCP International Fellow, Dr. Neda Nikpoor.

During this outreach HCP Ethiopia Representative Dr. Liknaw Adamu and Dr. Matt Oliva counted a total of 92 bilaterally blind patients, highlighting the need to continue to strengthen in-country infrastructure, reach the unreached, and train more personnel in this region in order to reduce the backlog of cataract blindness in Ethiopia.


Jun 12, 2018

KTH Performs First Retinal Surgeries over 3-week Training Program in Ghana

The vitreoretinal (VR) hospital-based program at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana represents the culmination of a collaborative and multi-year effort between KATH, HCP, Moran Eye Center, USAID, Alcon, and the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The three week training program started with a week of surgical retina, led by partners from the Moran Eye Center, including HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Bernstein and former HCP International Fellow Dr. Eric Hansen. Also in attendance was Echo Cluff from The Eye Institute of Utah and Kelvyn Els from Envision Africa.

During the week and with support from the master trainers, Dr. Amos Aikins and Dr. Akwasi Ahmed - the two Ghanaian physicians trained in vitreo-retina - provided eighteen retinal surgeries at KATH. These 18 surgeries represent the first retinal surgeries performed outside of Ghana’s capital of Accra.

With HCP support, both Drs. Aikins and Ahmed received vitreo-retina subspecialty training at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, HCP’s flagship training partner, and at University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center (through an observership). Nurses from KATH have also benefited from specialized nurse training in retina at both institutions. The consortium of partners, including HCP, Alcon and USAID, have provided specialized ophthalmic equipment and supplies for the subspecialty. In addition, the Alcon Foundation supported the training of Dr. Ahmed.

Medical and surgical retina care are integral to KATH’s emergence as a tertiary eye center and comprehensive center of excellence serving the Ashanti region of Ghana. Retinal care is particularly important to KATH due to the prevalence of retina-related medical issues in the region including sickle cell trait and disease, diabetes, infections such as toxoplasmosis and HIV, and traumatic eye injuries. The need for quality vitreoretinal services was identified early in the partnership between KATH, Moran and HCP. This three-week hands-on training program was planned in coordination with Dr. Ahmed’s return to KATH, following training, and was intended to not only provide critical patient care but also surgical training in his home facility.

The training program sought to achieve the following primary objectives:

  • Ensure KATH is fully operational and capable of providing vitreoretinal surgery
  • Provide follow-up hands-on training in the trainees’ home facility to ensure continuity of training
  • Provide meaningful skills and knowledge transfer for surgical and clinical retinal care
  • Assess landscape surrounding retinal services in Kumasi and identify barriers, needs and opportunities for continued development
  • Provide an adequate platform for success in anticipation of the subsequent training program with Dr. Govinda Pauydal from Tilganga and other visiting faculty.

*Items from this report from the field were provided by Dr. Eric Hansen


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