Health  Nepal Project #736

Himalayan Cataract Project: Remote Eye Camps

by Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc. Vetted since 2008 Site Visit Verified

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.



 

In the past month, HCP partners in Ghana and Ethiopia performed a total of 2,011 sight restoring surgeries! Details of each outreach can be found below:

Ghana

Tarkwa: February 28 - March 02

A team led by HCP partner Dr. Boateng Wiafe, including Dr. Vera Essuman and Dr. Raymond Toseafa, managed a cataract outreach at Tarkwa Government Hospital, in partnership with Operation Eyesight Universal. The team provided 56 sight restoring surgeries.

Yegi: March 05 - 08

HCP partner Dr. Seth Lartey and a team from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) led a three day outreach in Yegi, providing 255 sight restoring surgeries. This effort was the result of a partnership with the National Cataract Outreach Program that began as a pilot in 2017.

Kintampo: March 06

HCP partner Dr. Judith Simon and a team from Tamale Teaching Hospital led this one day outreach, providing 26 sight restoring surgeries.

Ethiopia

Basketo Special Woreda: March 12 - 16

HCP Partner and cataract surgeon, Dr. Ato Abiyot Ayele and a team from the Arba Minch Hospital Eye Unit led this four day outreach at Basketo Laska Melse Zenawi Hospital. The team provided 225 sight restoring surgeries.

Delanta: March 19 - 25

HCP Partner, Dr. Muluken Fantaw led a team from Boru Meda at this outreach, which was held in Delanta in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia providing 346 sight restoring surgeries.

Motta: March 19 - 25

HCP Partners, Dr. Hiwto Mengistie and Dr. Abraham Aregay led a team from Felege Hiwot during this six day high volume outreach providing 1,103 sight restoring surgeries - including 150 Trachoma Trichiasis surgeries. The following is an account of the outreach from HCP Ethiopia Representative, Dr. Liknaw Adamu.

“Just wanted to share the happiness and joy of sight from a case during the Motta campaign. In the last photo, this lady saw her child for the 1st time after her surgery and her husband (nearest to her) was so happy. He was seen arriving at the hospital carrying their baby on his back, while leading his bilaterally blind wife to the hospital. Now his burden has been lifted as well.” 

First surgical outreach of the year results in 232 surgeries

The Himalayan Cataract Project’s first cataract outreach of 2018 provided surgery to 232 people between January 1st-6th. A team from Arba Minch managed the outreach in Yabelo, the zonal capital town of Borena, Ethiopia. A total 1,367 patients were screened, resulting in the 232 surgeries - 187 Cataract Surgeries and 45 Trachoma Trichiasis surgeries.

In Ethiopia, HCP provides:

  • Direct Service: HCP is reducing the backlog of cataract blindness by working with 11 partners to conduct outreach programs that target remote rural areas and provide field-based training opportunities. Since 2008, HCP has directly supported 106 high-volume cataract campaigns resulting in 17,318 cataract surgeries.
  • Training: HCP continues to increase utilization of eye care services by building a network of skilled, dedicated eye care professionals providing accessible, high-quality cataract and ophthalmic care. Since 2008, HCP has trained 323 ophthalmic personnel working at all levels of eye care in Ethiopia.
  • Infrastructure: HCP is making tremendous strides in developing a sustainable eye care infrastructure in Ethiopia by supporting the development and equipping of eye care facilities, and promoting the development of local centers of eye care excellence.

Cataract outreaches in India result in 925 sight restoring surgeries!

The Himalayan Cataract Project and Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology are long­standing, trusted partners whose close collaboration with other organizations is essential in carrying out effective and successful projects. HCP and Tilganga share a binding, core philosophy that they bring to collaboration with each of the partners they engage: the belief that the elimination of needless blindness is fundamentally a human right. Partners with this shared goal help HCP strengthen its mission to eliminate preventable and curable blindness.

In our most recent cataract outreaches in India, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology and Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya Hospital jointly organized two cataract campaigns with support from HCP and the Sankara Eye Foundation (SEF) USA, from September 14-16 in Vrindavan and September 18-20 in Mangarh (Uttar Pradesh), India providing a total of 925 cataract surgeries, including four for children. The success of these outreaches can be attributed to the high quality care provided by Tilganga and Jagadguru Kripalu and financial support of SEF, USA.

Sankara Eye Foundation, USA was founded in 1998 by Mr. K. Muralidharan, Mr. K. Sridharan, and Mr. Khushnood Ahmad, whose vision was to eradicate curable blindness in India. Anil Lal has played an instrumental role for SEF, USA in developing the partnership with HCP. According to the SEF, USA website, their goal is to support, SEF, India and raise funds for surgeries as well as capital funds to build specialty eye-care hospitals across India. Their mission is to reach India’s rural and poor populations to provide quality eye care free of cost. SEF India is currently building its 9th operationally self-sufficient specialty eye care hospital with plans for further expansion in the near future.

HCP Partners complete two successful cataract campaigns in Ghana, providing 269 sight restoring procedures

In May, HCP partner Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and the Holy Family Hospital organized a five day cataract surgical outreach campaign in Techiman, Ghana where 232 cataract surgeries were performed. Individuals served ranged from 7 to 97 years of age, including 26 year old Janet from Kofoso located in the Kintampo South Constituency of Ghana. Janet’s sight was restored after living with cataracts in both eyes for 10 years and being told she would never see again.

The Holy Family Hospital is part of the National Catholic Health Service (NCHS) and also a member of Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG). The hospital has a staff of 357 various medical and administrative professionals with 198 beds. This is the hospital’s third outreach of the year with plans for further outreach, “It is our wish that together we can work towards making this project bigger and better,” Edgard, KATH Eye Center Records Keeper.

 The next HCP-supported campaign was organized by Tamale Teaching Hospital with the Mathias Catholic Hospital in Yeji, Ghana from July 9 - 14 providing 37 cataract surgeries. Yeji is a town located along the Volta River in the Atebubu District in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Because of the proximity to the Volta River, difficult to reach populations located along the water were accessed in this maiden effort, which sometimes required boats to get to villages to conduct cataract screenings.

 With the combined efforts in Techiman and Yeji a total of 269 successful sight restoring procedures were recently performed. In the past couple years, HCP has expanded its reach in Ghana to include partnerships with the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern region, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and Operation Eyesight Universal, a Canadian INGO also working to reduce needless blindness in Ghana. For more information on our work in Ghana click here.

 

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Organization Information

Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Location: Waterbury, VT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cureblindness.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Himalayan Cataract Project
Project Leader:
Geoff Tabin
Director
Waterbury, VT United States

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