Jan 6, 2020

National Cataract Outreach Program Gains Momentum

In November, HCP’s Co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin joined a team of Ghanaian ophthalmologists to perform 851 sight-restoring surgeries at the Bolgatanga Presbyterian Regional Eye Center in the Upper East region. Bolgatanga has been an HCP partner since 2017 and this is the second successful NCOP event - the first was in November 2018 and provided 484 surgeries.

Cataracts are the leading cause of low-vision and blindness in Ghana. In an effort to address the backlog and improve cataract care at the national level, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), in collaboration with HCP, began the National Cataract Outreach Program (NCOP) in 2017 and established National Guidelines to bring care to all regions. The NCOP committee, comprised of private and government service providers and NGOs, divided the country into four zones and established one leader in each to coordinate annual events.

“I am very excited about our progress in Ghana,” Dr. Tabin said. “Bolgatanga is a wonderful center with an excellent lead doctor and incredible need in the area. I think it can become a high-volume center of excellence in cataract surgery and a great place for residents from both KATH and Korle-Bu.”

Since NCOP’s pilot phase in October 2017, 5,177 surgeries have been provided across 24 campaigns. In 2018, the NCOP completed 1,889 surgeries, and in 2019 to-date, NCOP has completed 2,501 surgeries, putting them on target for 3,000 by the end of the year.

"I'm so excited to have participated in this very successful event in Bolgatanga,” Dr. Seth Lartey, consulting ophthalmic surgeon at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and NCOP Zonal Leader, said. “This is a great example of what we wanted to achieve in developing the National Cataract Outreach Program in 2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, which is to make high quality eye care accessible to all Ghanaians!!"

Drs. Tabin and Lartey joined two other NCOP zonal leaders, Dr. Seth Wayne and Dr. Mercy Dawson; local ophthalmologist in Bolgatanga, Dr. Lordson Dagba; and Dr. John Hinkle, HCP’s Global Fellow.

Dec 11, 2019

Over 3,000 surgeries performed in Ethiopia

HCP and partners traveled to Bahir Dar and Boru Meda for two outreach events.

 

Bahir Dar

HCP Ethiopia Representative Dr. Liknaw Adamu and HCP Program Manager Teketel Mathiwos welcomed patients at Felege Hiwot Hospital in Bahir Dar and ensured the medical staff were prepared for every stage of surgery from pre-operative to post-operative. The team completed 1,813 surgeries over the course of six days. 

 

Bora Meda

Following the surgical outreach at Felege Hiwot Hospital, HCP, partners, and volunteers traveled to Boru Meda hospital. A total of 1,270 sight-saving surgeries were performed.

One young patient, Tafere, age 10, came from a small village in Bokesos, Ethiopia. He was injured last Christmas playing stickball with his friends. After his injury, he was unable to play sports. Fortunately, Tafere was able to have his sight restored in a successful surgery performed by Dr. Matt Oliva.

Many thanks to Dr. Matt Oliva, Dr. Muluken Fantaw, head ophthalmologist at Boru Meda Hospital, and additional local staff, volunteer surgeons Drs. Sam Cady and David Khorram, photographer Christopher Briscoe, and volunteers Lucia Fernandez, Claire Bonilla, and Chantey Aldridge for their incredible work and support.

These high-volume surgical opportunities are bringing us closer to achieving our goal of 1 million sight-restoring surgeries during our 25th anniversary in 2020.

Oct 23, 2019

Laser Assisted Surgery for Cataracts

Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology now offers laser-assisted surgery for cataracts:

Himalayan Cataract Project is one of two Signature Initiatives supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision (J&JV). As part of its corporate and social responsibility program, J&JV recently donated a Catalys laser to HCP that was installed at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, a World Health Organization Collaborating Center in Kathmandu, Nepal, and HCP’s flagship partner.

In August, a training consultant from J&JV traveled to Nepal to train a select group of Tilganga ophthalmologists to remove cataracts using the Catalys laser. Eleven senior physicians were trained and certified to use the system, including both the Founder of Tilganga, Dr. Sanduk Ruit, and Tilganga's CEO, Dr. Reeta Gurung. Tilganga is the first location in Nepal and the wider Asian region to be able to perform femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery using the Johnson & Johnson Vision Catalys Laser. This cutting edge technology continues to bolster Tilganga’s ophthalmic expertise as a leading Center of Excellence in the Himalayan region.

The excitement and momentum around the training were tremendous, prompting great interest from an additional cadre of 10-12 ophthalmologists at Tilganga in also becoming certified to use the Catalys.

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