Himalayan Cataract Project International Fellow Dr. Zvi Kresch is at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi for six weeks to lecture ophthalmology residents, provide hands-on surgical training, and specific expertise in uveitis. He participated in World Sight Day activities by working at a small outreach at St. Martin’s Catholic Hospital that provided 17 cataract surgeries and by going on local radio to raise awareness about eye diseases and the efforts at KATH to address and combat those diseases.
HCP has contributed to the training of KATH clinicians, administrators and residents through follow-up visits by HCP affiliated ophthalmologists and personalized trainings. Sustainable eye care requires local staffing of ophthalmologists, eye care workers and administrators and necessitates ensuring top rate training and education at all levels. HCP trains local eye care teams with methodologies optimized for the developing world.This allows for the expansion of efficient eye care delivery, an increased number of patients treated, and an increased number of trained eye care specialists who can then train future eye care providers.
Two of the three floors at the new eye center at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, are bustling with activity. Completing the final floor, which houses the operating theatres, is the last major construction effort required before setting a date for the formal inauguration prior to year end. The KATH outreach team recently organized a mini outreach event — sponsored by a local bank — that brought 22 patients to the eye clinic for cataract surgery.
A two-day outreach was held in May in Agroyesum, in the Ashanti region of Ghana just outside of Kumasi. The outreach was organized by long-time HCP partner, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). Patients were screened in advance by the KATH faculty, residents and HCP international fellow, Dr. Zahra Ali. The team was joined by partners from the Moran Eye Center in Utah who make an annual visit to KATH to provide ongoing mentorship to KATH’s clinical team.
In total 50 sight-restoring cataract surgeries were provided in Agroyesum and 50 at KATH’s facility in Kumasi. The next time there is a high-volume event at KATH it will be in the eye facility that opened its doors on June 3rd. Read favorable review on the modern eye center funded by USAID, HCP and KATH from the link below.
In addition to supporting outreach events at KATH and in nearby locations, building ophthalmic capacity in Ghana is another HCP objective. There are only 50 ophthalmologists in Ghana for 23 million people. HCP is currently supporting the training of two of KATH’s faculty, Drs. Amos Aikins and Peter Armah who are receinving specialized training at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology in Nepal, HCP’s flagship training facility. These doctors will take their newly learned skills and bring them back to Ghana, furthering our efforts to treating curable blindness in the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Eye Center at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana has been gearing up for the opening and equipping of a new three level clinic that will enable the ophthalmic staff to provide more sight-restoring surgeries at the hospital and in remote locations where patients do not have access to quality eye care. While the finishing touches are underway the outreach team is working with community planners in over 18 districts to educate and screen patients who are unaware of the services they can receive through donor support. Three outreaches are planned in the coming months. Stay tuned for more updates.
A team of six local ophthalmologists from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, KATH, and HCP Co-Director Dr. Geoff Tabin completed 213 surgeries in Kumasi, Ghana, during a four-day high-volume cataract event in August. This is the largest intervention performed at KATH since HCP started working with the clinical staff in 2006.
Patients from 18 communities were screened by local optometrists and bused to KATH for surgery, including two infants with bilateral cataracts and five children. Dr. Tabin and KATH’s Dr. Seth Lartey also successfully performed nine cornea transplants bringing the total transplants for the year to over 40. On average KATH performs 1500 to 2000 cataract surgeries per year in hospital and through outreach.
The Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) has been working in collaboration with USAID/ASHA and KATH to complete a new surgical eye care center to increase volume and provide high quality care. The new center is almost complete and the inauguration is tentatively planned for April 2013, after the new center is fully functional.
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