HCP’s largest partner in Ghana, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Eye Center, has been steadily expanding its outreach efforts to increase access to cataract surgery to those living in regions with no ophthalmologist. Earlier this month the KATH outreach team conducted its largest cataract campaign to date– providing 402 cataract surgeries in Keta, a coastal town 3 hours east of Accra. HCP co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin joined the team including KATH ophthalmologists Dr. Seth Lartey, Dr. Amos Aikens, Dr. Akwasi Ahmed and many hardworking nurses and assistants who worked tirelessly for five days from 7: 30 AM to nearly midnight each night.
Dr. Tabin commented, “The quality of the surgery has been excellent with great surgical results – by far the best I’ve seen in Ghana!” There were many shining eyes and happy tears of joy on post-op day, including two women who had been blind for over 10 years, and a young 28-year old mother who hadn’t been able to see her youngest child. Tears of joy flowed watching this young mother see her child for the very first time.
HCP greatly thanks our donors for helping make these outreaches possible. With less than 70 ophthalmologists in the entire country, too many Ghanaians are without vital eye care services. These cataract outreaches help bridge the gap by provided eye health services where they are needed most.
2015 has been a year of tremendous challenge for Nepal. Since the two devastating earthquakes in April and May of last year, so much has changed, including the very landscape of Nepal itself. One thing that remains consistent are HCP’s and our partner institution’s, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, commitment to reaching those who most need care. In the last quarter of 2015, Tilganga’s outreach program provided over 1,500 cataract surgeries to patients across Nepal and northern India. This includes 288 surgeries in Nuwakot and 102 surgeries Dolakha – two of most devastated regions by last year’s earthquakes. We are so proud of the TIO team. Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Tilganga’s work was also profiled, In 5 Minutes, He Lets the Blind See, by the New York Times’s Nik Kristoff . HCP is incredibly proud of Tilganga’s team.Tilganga Their resilience and work ethic is evident and despite what they have been through, they continue to provide cataract surgery to those most in need in Nepal.
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.