Jul 16, 2021

Partners Ramp Up Care Across Ghana

Zobil
Zobil

Cataract surgical outreach is off to a strong start in Ghana this year, as our partners increase the amount of life-changing eye care services to those who need it most.

Since January, seven of HCP’s Ghanaian partners, including the National Cataract Outreach Program (NCOP), have provided over 3,200 sight-restoring surgeries for children and adults in all corners of Ghana from Keta to Adidome, and from Namong to Dunkwa.

Partner activity in multiple regions includes:

Dr. Bo Wiafe and his son Dr. Geoffrey Wiafe visited six separate sites in the first quarter working with local teams in the Western region (Tarkwa, Essikado), Central region (Assin Fosu, Saltpond), Eastern region (Asamankese), and Ashanti (Namong) region in addition to their own clinic, Watborg Eye Services.

 

Dr. Judith Simon in Tamale is serving patients in the Northern region - Tamale, Kintampo and Bolgatanga. Zobil, a six-year-old boy, was one of the patients from Bolgatanga. Before his surgery he was unable to see well, read, or attend school for over a year. Zobil lost his right eye due to trauma and developed a cataract in his left eye shortly after. He had cataract surgery on his left eye and was fitted with bifocal eyeglasses, which also serve as protective glasses. Zobil always has a big smile at his follow up appointments. He started school again and is doing well.

 

Dr. Seth Wanye of Friends Eye Center has served multiple sites in the Volta region (Keta, Aflao, Akatsi, Dzodze, Adidome) and continues to provide as many surgeries as possible before the rainy season begins.

 

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Jul 16, 2021

Transformative Effect of Sight Restoring Surgeries

Wese
Wese

Cataract surgery is life changing, both for the patient and for their caregivers, as underscored by the following three stories from patients at a recent surgical outreach event in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.

Wese

Wese traveled from Demebeza Girogis to attend HCP’s outreach event in Bahir Dar. She had lost her vision in July 2020, and had spent much of her days sitting at home without being able to go to church by herself. After receiving sight-restoring surgery, Worke exclaimed, “Both my eyes are as bright as the sun. I’m so happy. The whole community will be cheering for me when I get back.” Reflecting on her decision to travel to the outreach, she said, “I refused to come at first but my son insisted and brought me here. I thank him.”

 

Terefe 

Terefe, 78, came from Mertole Mariam to the outreach in Bahir Dar. He had lost vision in both eyes and had been blind for almost five years. Previously a farmer, Terefe says, “I had no one to lead me and I was suffering so I ended up staying in the church.” After his surgery, Terefe expressed his joy at having his sight restored. “I can see very well. I can see far away and I can eat. I’m very happy beyond words. I would be dancing if it was not for my old age.”

 

Emawa

Emawa, 60, traveled from Ayehu Guagsa, Agew to the outreach. A widow, she lost vision in both of her eyes a year ago. She said, “I could no longer do house chores and have been dependent on my granddaughter. I’ll hopefully be independent once I regain my sight back.” Emawa was cheerful after the sight in both of her eyes was restored at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital during HCP’s surgical outreach event in Bahir Dar. "I'm very happy", she said.

Terefe
Terefe
Emawa
Emawa

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Jul 16, 2021

HCP Enhances Data Capacity

 

In order to understand and maximize our impact, the HCP Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team carefully tracks all of our program data.

The MEL team measures indicators essential to the improvement of eye care programs, including surgical outcomes, improvements in eye sight, tracking health worker training, and logging the number of surgeries our partners provide. The information is used by HCP and our partners to make our work more efficient and effective, all with the goal of delivering the highest quality care possible to the needlessly blind.

HCP has recently expanded its data capacity, bringing on MEL Specialists in Ethiopia and Ghana, and working closely with MEL staff at partner institutions in Nepal and Bhutan.

HCP MEL Manager Nick recently hosted a virtual training session with this wider team to kick off a number of new initiatives. The team discussed changes to data governance and management, the importance of maintaining patient privacy, a revamped patient consent process, new data collection protocols, and strategies to ensure data quality. The team is focused on testing a global data standard for cataract surgeries, and on rolling out uniform data collection practices at outreach events around the world.

The MEL staff meets once a month to plan data collection, troubleshoot challenges, celebrate successes, and lessons learned. By aligning our data collection processes between partner institutions in many countries, we are able to generate high quality data which allows us to identify and share best practices throughout our partner network. Lessons learned in one country can help partners elsewhere, so opening up dialogue between our partners is an important way that HCP supports improved training and health outcomes for the communities we serve.

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