A free surgical operation launched by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the Samaritan’s Purse and the New Sight Eye Center in Maryland County has helped over 80 people with cataracts regain sight, Ministry of Health said.
A cataract is a natural action that clouds the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision.
The cataract operation, funded by Samaritan’s Purse and implemented by New Sight Eye Center, was launched on July 7, and ended on July 11, at the J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital in Maryland County.
Health Ministry in a release said, over 705 surgical candidates from Maryland, Grand Kru, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties underwent free eye screening, medication, and surgery during the first phase of the program.
Henry Wilson, a man in his late 50s, who regained his sight said: “Blindness is a complete disgrace to human life. This particular sickness I have been treated for today reduced my entire life to a child—I experienced more than being a child because most of my activities were characterized by sorrow and begging.”
Another candidate who underwent operation successfully testified: “I was abandoned by my husband because of my condition, which led to my kids dropping from school. As we speak, I am worried about how they will get back to school next academic year. I am calling humanitarians and stakeholders to come to my aid because I have nothing to sustain my family—I mean something to start with.”
The successful surgical candidates have however expressed gratitude to government and partners for the initiative and stressed the need for a quarterly surgical operation to be conducted in counties so as to reduce or eradicate blindness in the Country.
Meanwhile, the CEO and Chief Surgeon of the New Sight Eye Center, Dr. Robert Dolo lauded Marylanders for the reception. “We appreciate the reception you gave while in the County, something we believe should be lauded by us as a team.”
The Cataract Surgeon noted that the team couldn’t meet their target as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the exercise was slow because of the issue of social distancing, which led to candidates standing far apart from each other.
Making statements on behalf of the government at the closure, MoH’s National Eye Health Program Dr. Joseph Kerkulah appreciated the team for buttressing the government’s effort in the fight against blindness in the Country. He at the same time applauded candidates for their corporation, especially their compliance and adhering to the president’s mandate in the wake of the deadly pandemic.