2016 Highlights from Ghana: Thousands have been given the gift of sight!

Categories: Blog, Communities, Eye Surgery, Eyeglasses, Ghana, Hospitals, Other, Our Work, Prevention

Last week, we put our work in Nepal under the spotlight. But the amazing impact our supporters made possible doesn’t end there! This week, we’re highlighting the work we completed in Ghana last year. For more great stories, read our recently-released Report to Donors 2016. And stay tuned for updates on Kenya and Zambia in the coming weeks!

Thanks to your support, this man can SEE! Photo by Dr. John Welling

In addition to supporting over 5,000 cataract surgeries in Ghana, we focused on building capacity of our partner hospitals, thanks to funding through Seeing is Believing. With support from Ghana Health Service, we conducted training workshops for primary eye care workers, which focused on mobilizing and educating communities, identifying various eye conditions, treating minor eye health issues and referring patients for appropriate care.

In partnership with Australia’s Brien Holden Vision Institute, we also trained optometrists to identify and work with patients with low vision. In addition, we procured and installed low vision diagnostic equipment for 18 of our 35 partner hospitals and conducted training workshops for equipment technicians, who were taught how to maintain the hospitals’ ophthalmic equipment.

We supported our partners and other personnel from Ghana Health Service in running an awareness campaign in the hospitals and surrounding communities. The campaign included the distribution of educational brochures, as well as radio and television programs where people could phone in and ask questions.

By educating people about eye health and creating awareness of the services offered by our partner hospitals, we’re encouraging people to take charge of their own eye health.

Working with the Swiss Red Cross, Ghana Health Service, and the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, we completed a National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study, which was supported by Seeing is Believing and aims to provide nationally representative data on blindness and visual impairment in Ghana.

This study, a first of its kind in the country, was spearheaded by Operation Eyesight and included nearly 4,600 survey participants. The study will be finalized and disseminated in 2017 and will be a valuable resource as we continue to develop our eye health advocacy efforts in Ghana!

And finally, through funding from Seeing is Believing and with support from our partner hospitals and volunteers from Standard Chartered Bank, we screened over 60,000 students and dispensed over 450 pairs of new prescription eyeglasses in Ghana. Incredible!

All of this was made possible by supporters like you! To help us continue our work in Ghana, please consider making a gift through our online Gift Guide. No gift is too small! As always, thank you for giving the gift of sight – For All the World to See!

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