Surgeons taking some of the patients through surgery
Surgeons taking some of the patients through surgery

500 Patients benefit from free eye surgery

JA medical charity group from the United States (US) has teamed up with some Ghanaian health professionals to perform free cataract surgery on 500 people at the Eastern Regional Hospital, Koforidua.

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The beneficiaries included the aged, young people and children from towns and villages such Koforidua, Suhum, Nkawkaw, Aburi, Akropong, Bawjiase and Somanya. 

The beneficiaries were asked to come for the surgery after free eye-screening exercises conducted for about 2,000 people by the Himalayan Cataract Project (Cure Blindness), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the US. 

The Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other partners collaborated with the NGO, which sent a team of doctors and technicians to Koforidua to assist the medical staff of the Eastern Regional Hospital for the surgery. 

Some of the doctors were from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, the St Dominic Hospital, Akwatia and the Tilgauya Institute of Opthalmology in Nepal. 

Free surgery, medication 

According to the NGO's Country Representative in Ghana, Dr James Amoo Addy, all those who were screened and diagnosed with defects, along with those who went through the surgery, were provided with free medication, while some of them had reading glasses.

He said since the five-day period allocated for surgery was not enough to cover all patients, the team had decided to return to the country on a later date to continue with the exercise.

"We have done this, together with our partners, for the love of humanity. We want to assist the needy and those who cannot afford the cost of such operations to live more meaningfully,” he said.

Research 

Dr Addy said research conducted in Ghana in 2015 showed that  200,000 (0.74%) out of the country's total population were blind, and explained that those people suffered from cataract.

According to him, money should not be a hindrance to make one totally blind, and that was why his outfit decided to pay for the treatment of the eye patients.

He commended the government and the Ministry of Health for their support and called for more of such collaborations in the near future.

Appreciation

The beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the organisers for the surgery.

A beneficiary from Bawjiase, Grace Goku, who was initially not aware of the exercise but had the information from a friend, after which she went through the surgery successfully, urged the government to channel resources into supporting such initiatives.

Another beneficiary, Mama Sheitu Sampana from Koforidua, who was highly elated, asked for God's blessings for the organisers.

According to her, she did not pay anything for the surgery and the medication.

Abdul Rauf Yusuf, another beneficiary, told the Daily Graphic that he did not feel any pain when he was going through the surgery.

He said initially he was nervous that his eyes would be fractured by the surgical instruments.

Writer's email: [email protected] 

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