The Himalayan Cataract Project's partner organization in Ghana, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) recently took part in a high volume outreach event.
At the end of August and beginning of September, two surgeons, medical staff and two nurses from KATH joined a team from the Tamale Teaching Hospital, as well as a team from the Sunyani Regional Hospital to provide treatment to patients in Kintampo, in the Brong Ahafo region. Patients from six districts (Kintampo, Central Gonjo, Pru, Wenchi, Jema, Nkranza North, and Bamboi) were screened and treated over the course of two weeks. A total of 323 surgeries were performed, including seven surgeries on young children.
The Himalayan Cataract Project's main partner in Ghana, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), has been making strides in the fight to alleviate preventable blindness. KATH has accepted four new residents. These residents will make a total of 15 who will benefit from an increased emphasis on hands-on training, including newly added surgical rotations collaborating with the country's highest performing cataract surgeons. They will also have access to state-of-the equipment that just arrived in the country.
Providing training and hands on skills transfer to local eye care professionals creates a sustainable program to ensure that patients needs are continually met
In addition to this training, a high volume cataract campaign is being planned for the week of August 24th in Kimtompo in the Brong Ahafo region 2.5 hours from Kumasi anticipating 300-500 surgeries.
Year to date, KATH has provided 760 surgeries (666 in house; 82 patients bussed in; 12 surgeries provided during an outreach).
Following a short trip in Kenya, Dr. Geoff Tabin traveled to Ghana to work with local partners in Kumasi and Accra. Dr. Tabin worked with the Eye Staff at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, KATH, to provide 107 cataract surgeries and four cornea transplants.
The team then traveled to Kwame Danso, the capital city in the Sene District of the Brong Ahafo Region (north of Kumasi) for another 109 cataract surgeries. This was the first in the region.
Dr. Tabin also brought donated cornea tissue from SightLife for Dr. James Clarke in Accra and met with Dr. Beau Wiafe and other surgeons working to eradicate unnecessary blindness in Ghana.
Meanwhile, HCP International Fellow Dr. Anya Gushchin was at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, working with HCP partners and providing lectures on oculoplastics to ophthalmology residents.
In the year since KATH was formally inaugurated, significant progress has been made in the number of patients treated. In its first year of operation in the newly constructed facility, outpatient numbers rose by 38% and surgical numbers rose by 26.5%, making 2014 KATH’s strongest year of surgical volume.
Himalayan Cataract Project co-founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin traveled to Ghana in mid-December to work with local partners in Kumasi and Accra.
Dr. Tabin worked with the Eye Staff at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, KATH, including the head of the Eye Unit, Dr. Seth Lartey, to provide 107 cataract surgeries and 4 cornea transplants. Dr. Tabin also provided surgical training to the team.
The team then traveled to Kwame Danso, the capital city in the Sene District of the Brong Ahafo Region (north of Kumasi) for another 109 cataract surgeries, provided over the course of four days. This was the first outreach in the region.
Dr. Tabin also brought donated cornea tissue from SightLife for Dr. James Clarke, an ophthalmologist in Accra, to provide cornea transplants. A cornea transplant replaces diseased or scarred corneal tissue with healthy tissue from an organ donor.
The cornerstone of Himalayan Cataract Project's work is in the teaching of local doctors and eye care professionals. In order to create a sustainable eye care system, top rate training of doctors, nurses, technicians and administrators is essential.
Dr. Joyce Maaweh, a third year Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) ophthalmology resident, traveled north to Tamale for hands-on surgical training with Dr. Judith Simon, Tamale Teaching Hospital’s Chief Ophthalmologist.
Dr. Maaweh also participated in an outreach cataract surgical event in a nearby town that provided 100 surgeries in four days — 20 of which Dr. Maaweh performed independently. As part of the Himalayan Cataract Project's commitment to enhancing the KATH residency training program and to attracting more Ghanaian doctors to ophthalmology, HCP will support six-week rotations for KATH residents at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
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