Mar 30, 2021

Lives Changed in Ethiopia

Iftu
Iftu

Recently, HCP partnered with the Bisidimo Hospital to perform a weeklong cataract outreach, providing 472 sight restoring surgeries. Below are some of the stories from patients, whose lives have been changed through the work of HCP and its partners.

Mariam & Ubah

Ubah and her mother Mariam are from the Harerge region of Ethiopia. Ubah had lost her sight gradually after the birth of her first child. Mariam had also lost her vision to cataracts. Life had been difficult for the women, and Mariam blamed herself for her daughter's vision loss.

Neighbors took the mother and daughter to a local health clinic where they learned of an HCP outreach at Bisidimo that could restore their sight.

Following their successful surgeries, both women were excited to return home to work on their farm and take care of their families. A 10-minute surgery can return dignity and self-sufficiency to people in need.

Iftu

 Iftu suffered from cataracts in both eyes for six months. Three of those months were spent in complete darkness. She will never forget the day she was told that her condition is curable.

“Now, I have my vision back thanks to HCP. It is like being born again, and I am super excited to go back to school.“

Alamudin

 "I can’t wait to go back to school and the village to play whatever I want without any worry." - Alamudin, a 10-year-old cataract patient

Three years ago, Alamudin lost sight in his left eye after an injury from a stick. His family couldn't afford treatment, so Alamudin dropped out of school because he could no longer read or play with the other children. Thanks to the skilled surgeons and support staff at a recent outreach in Bisidimo, Ethiopia, Alamudin regained sight in his left eye. 

Alamudin
Alamudin
Mariam and Ubah
Mariam and Ubah

Links:

Mar 29, 2021

Notable Progress in Ghana

Piloted in 2017, the National Cataract Outreach Program (NCOP) is a partnership between the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) and Ghana’s Ministry of Health, whereby Ghana Health Services (GHS) organizes outreach events in all regions implemented by trained ophthalmic teams. The Program seeks to establish a sustainable national outreach effort that incentivizes Ghanaian eye care service providers to eliminate the cataract backlog while making quality surgery accessible to everyone in the country.

To show its dedication to the program, GHS has committed three staff members - an optometrist, ophthalmic nurse and biomedical engineer - to participate in HCP-supported outreach activities to ensure adherence to standards developed by the NCOP founding committee members. The GHS staff members have also designed training modules to be offered to ophthalmic teams throughout the country in order to raise the quality of care.

HCP has invested in the success of the NCOP by purchasing cataract surgical kits that can be borrowed by ophthalmic teams for NCOP and HCP partner-organized cataract surgical interventions so multiple workstations are operational, while also providing specialized training opportunities to eye care personnel at all levels of ophthalmology.

NCOP is unique in that it brings together service providers from the public and private sectors - both of whom are eligible to be reimbursed for eye care services provided by the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). Ideally, the reimbursements from NHIP will be higher than the cost of surgery through efficiencies. Any surplus is to be invested in activities that will enhance eye care such as purchasing ophthalmic supplies or repairing equipment. GHS is working hard to promote the program by visiting regional bureaus of health to ensure collaboration in all 16 regions and to help recuperate reimbursements from surgeries provided in the first three years of the program.

In addition to supporting outreach events arranged by NCOP, HCP has partnerships with 14 individual implementing partners from the public and private sectors. HCP collects data on post-operative visual acuity from outreach events to assess quality of service provided. We are pleased to report that each year the surgical quality improves and the amount of data collected increases.

Links:

Mar 29, 2021

2020 - A Year in Review

In addition to celebrating our 25th year, a true highlight of 2020 was a milestone we reached together with scores of implementing partners around the world - surpassing 1 million surgeries! From our beginnings in the Himalayas to restoring sight in more than 20 countries, we are so grateful to you and all of our friends whose compassion made 1 million sight-restoring surgeries possible.

We remain committed to the work we started 25 years ago - caring for those most in need, no matter how remote and regardless a person’s ability to pay. Nothing could better capture that ethos than Tilganga’s CEO and master trainer, Dr. Reeta Gurung’s trip to Saipal in far western Nepal to treat 511 patients in December, providing 56 sight-restoring surgeries and distributing 380 pairs of glasses. Many in the village had never received eye care and spent years in darkness.

The interruption of global pandemic and the adjustments our programs has been significant - sourcing critical PPE, providing education and support to our network of partners, and right-sizing our outreach cataract campaigns to reflect the Covid-constraints. Fortunately we have been able to continue with our infrastructure and provision of critical equipment & consumables.

We kept pace with a number of essential capital projects to support local sustainability - including launching the Bahir Dar Specialty Eye Center in Ethiopia, supporting Tilganga’s operating theatre expansion in Nepal, and equipping a long-time partner and eye center in northern India.

Without a doubt, 2020 provided highs and lows, setbacks and successes, challenge and triumph. While Covid-19 had a profound impact on our world and our efforts to eradicate needless blindness in areas that need it most, it did not stop our work. In fact, Covid-19 has meant the need for eye care is all the more urgent.

Finally, it would be hard to top New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s characterization of our work, in his November 22nd column, “I’ve seen many humanitarian interventions all over the world, and there’s almost nothing so cheap, rapid and transformative as cataract surgery. It feels biblical, as the blind see again — and recover their lives.”

We enter 2021 as committed to delivering life changing eye care to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations than ever before. Thank you for your support. 

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.