Health
 Ghana
Project #5195

Outreach Eye Camps in Ghana

by Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.
The KATH and Moran team with Dr. Ali
The KATH and Moran team with Dr. Ali

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.

http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/health/artikel.php?ID=276545

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.  

Dr. Zahra examining a patient.
Dr. Zahra examining a patient.
A patient being screened
A patient being screened
Dr. Zahra speaking with children
Dr. Zahra speaking with children
New Eye Clinic in Kumasi nearing completion
New Eye Clinic in Kumasi nearing completion

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. 

Woman with cataract in left eye waiting for care
Woman with cataract in left eye waiting for care
Happy patients after surgery
Happy patients after surgery
patients waiting for cataract surgery
patients waiting for cataract surgery

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.  

patients returning home
patients returning home
Drs. Lartey & Bujak receive cornea tissue
Drs. Lartey & Bujak receive cornea tissue

The Himalayan Cataract Project has been partnered with Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital since 2006 and each year supports outreach events in the Ashanti region of northern Ghana as well as providing sub-specialty care and training in the hospital. 

In June 2012, HCP former International Fellow, Dr. Matt Bujak, traveled to Kumasi to work with KATH's Dr. Seth Lartey. Together they performed 23 corneal tranplants at the facilty before traveling 700 miles away to provide over 60 cataract surgeries at an outreach in Kete Krachi in the Krachi-West district of Volta Region of Ghana.

Dr. Bujak examines cornea patient
Dr. Bujak examines cornea patient
Patients waiting for treatment
Patients waiting for treatment
Patients waiting for cataract surgery
Patients waiting for cataract surgery

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. 

Pre-operative patients
Pre-operative patients
Patients receiving eye drops before surgery
Patients receiving eye drops before surgery

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Organization Information

Himalayan Cataract Project, Inc.

Location: Waterbury, VT - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.cureblindness.org
Project Leader:
Geoff Tabin
Director
Waterbury, VT United States