Last month a team from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Eye Unit led by Dr. Seth Lartey and Dr. Mike Feilmeier, a visiting ophthalmologist from the University of Nebraska conducted an outreach in Juaboso district of western region. This was the first outreach event in the district.
An advance team of Optometrists joined the local team and toured surrounding the communities to screen patients. Four towns were selected as screening posts. The local radio station including information van was hired to inform inhabitants of the impending program at the selected towns.
In all, a total of three hundred and two (302) people were screened in the four communities namely Sawfi Juaboso, Bodi, Bonsu Nkwanta and Asempa n’aye. A total of 33 people received cataract surgery.
KATH clinical staff cross river to access patients
In late-October, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH)’s Dr. Seth Lartey led an outreach team of seven doctors and nurses to provide surgical services at Kete Krachi in the Krachi-West district of Volta Region of Ghana (over 700 miles from KATH).
During the workshop, the team screened 1,908 patients, provided medical treatment and spectacles as needed, and recommended surgery for 274 patients. The team provided 100 of the 274 surgeries, and will return before the end of the year to provide the remaining surgeries.
HCP international fellow Dr. Matt Bujak has just returned from a six-week visit at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. While in Ghana, he participated in an outreach clinic held at a rural district hospital in New Edubiase. During this outreach event, Dr. Bujak and Dr. Seth Lartey from KATH performed over 20 cataract surgeries.
HCP’s Project Manager Pamela Clapp was also in Ghana and she had the opportunity to witness the outreach clinic for the first time. Below is what she had to say about her experience:
"I remember being very impressed with how appreciative the patients were for the clinical staff from KATH who came from Kumasi to bring cataract surgery to this remote village. I observed KATH's Dr. Seth Lartey and a third-year female medical student work side-by-side operating on patients who otherwise wouldn't receive this type of care because they don't have the means to get to the larger hospital. Dr. Matt Bujak, our HCP International fellow, was also present at the event. I was able to sit in his consultation room and observe numerous patient screenings which was valuable for me as a non-clinical person. It was a great experience because I was able to see what HCP does best - bring high-quality ophthalmic care to remote locations, while building local capacity through training." Pamela Clapp, HCP Project Manager.
With the support of the Himalayan Cataract Project, KATH plans to step up its outreach efforts in 2011 with at least 12 scheduled outreach clinics and the number of surgeries expected to reach 900.
On behalf of the Himalayan Cataract Project and our partners in Ghana, thank you for continuing to give the gift of sight.
In 2010, a total of 904 sight-restoring surgeries were performed in Outreach Eye Camps in Ghana. Below is a quick update of the latest outreach camp in Goaso:
Goaso is the district capital of Asunafo district located on the western corridor of Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana. Goaso is about 124 miles north west of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi. The district has no ophthalmologist and the only eye care workers are an optician and an optometrist who are based in the District Hospital. With a population of 170,000 it is estimated that 1,000 to 1,200 people may be blind from causes such as cataract, glaucoma and corneal opacities.
Dr. Peter Osei-Bonsu of KATH led an outreach camp at the Goaso District Hospital. Prior to the outreach, a team from the hospital screened 934 people. Over a period of two days, Dr. Osei-Bonsu performed 69 cataract surgeries.
One of the patients who received surgery in Goaso was Seidu Billiak a 73-year-old man from Mim in the Brong Ahafo region. He had worked as a watchman in a private home until two years ago when he was let go. He is still strong enough to work but he experienced difficulties due to his vision loss. After undergoing sight-restoring surgery, he was hopeful to return to work soon.
On behalf of our partners from KATH and all those who have benefited from your generous support, I would like thank you for your contribution and I hope you continue to support us in the future.
Gyetiase is a small village with population of about 1000 people, located about one and a half hour drive from Kumasi and about 10 minute drive from Mampong, the second largest town in Ashanti region. In August, Dr. Peter Osei-Bonsu, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), led his fourth surgical outreach in Gyetiase.
Screening was done prior to the outreach and the screening team selected 52 patients. Out of the selected patients, 43 showed up for surgery and 31 were confirmed operable by Dr. Osei-Bonsu. Surgery was carried out on an operating table built by a local carpenter.
All 31 patients had successful cataract surgery. They were examined the next day and received a follow-up exam two weeks later. Based on the follow-up exams, Dr. Osei-Bonsu declared that the outcome of this surgical outreach was "very good".
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