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Himalayan Cataract Project E-News: June 2012

The joy of sight regained after surgery in Ethiopia. Read below about a new video from Ethiopia.

Here you will find news on the latest international eye care activities from the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP). This month’s newsletter includes summaries on the following:

Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Woldiya Follow-up – Outreach in Meket
  • Accelerate Ethiopia – Ethiopia’s first ever trail half marathon 
  • HCP represented at NGO forum in Ethiopia and KATH site visit


  • Affiliated Ophthalmologist in Ghana 
  • KATH nurse in India for pediatric training


  • Dolakha – renovations complete
  • Tilganga residents train at Geisinger


  • HCP launches Facebook page
  • Television interview features HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist


Woldiya Follow-up — Outreach in Meket

Life-changing results from surgery, as seen in the video.

As a follow-up to the high-volume cataract intervention that provided over 1,100 cataract surgeries in Woldiya, Ethiopia, last month, local partner Dr. Alemu Kerie of Woldiya General Hospital conducted an additional outreach event in Meket this month to capture patients who were unable to attend the first intervention. Dr. Alemu and his team provided 173 additional surgeries.

For further insight into the high-volume cataract intervention from last month, watch this new video highlighting the intervention and witness the before-and-after scenes of the patients.

Accelerate Ethiopia — Ethiopia’s first ever trail half marathon

HCP is seeking runners for Ethiopia’s first ever trail ½ marathon set to take place from February 22 – March 3, 2013. HCP has partnered with imagine1day, a Canadian NGO working in Ethiopia, to develop a unique running experience that will provide runners with an opportunity to participate in a high-volume cataract event and interact with a beneficiary primary school. Funds raised will support HCP and imagine1day programs in Ethiopia. For more information, visit http://accelerateethiopia.com/.

HCP represented at NGO forum in Ethiopia and KATH site visit

A young patient after surgery at Quiha Zonal Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia.

Bill Shields, HCP’s Chief of Procurement, attended an NGO forum in Ethiopia of organizations working in eye care. Bill visited HCP partner Quiha Zonal Hospital in Mekelle to discuss the status and future needs of equipment for the new eye unit. Bill then visited the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana, to work with partners there to plan for ophthalmic equipment acquisition for the new USAID supported surgical eye center that is set to open in August.

“The new facility at KATH is one of the best training centers I have seen in the developing world. This state-of-the-art facility is a huge improvement from the existing clinic and has the capacity to treat thousands of patients each year. Very impressive!”
Bill Shields, HCP

Existing (left) and soon-to-be opened (right) Eye Clinics at KATH.


Affiliated Ophthalmologist returns to KATH

Affiliated Ophthalmologist Dr. Matthew Bujak had a successful visit to Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) working with former HCP Fellow and partner Dr. Seth Lartey. Together they performed over 20 corneal transplants at the eye clinic in Kumasi and over 60 cataract surgeries in remote Kete Krachi.

Dr. Bujak.

KATH nurse in India for pediatric training

Ms. Yaa Serwaa Akwaboah, an ophthalmic nurse from KATH, is at Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology in India to attend a three-month training course in pediatric ophthalmology. Pediatric cataract care requires specialized care and advanced training for practitioners. HCP has been working with partners at KATH, ORBIS and the Moran Eye Center to increase KATH’s pediatric capacity.


Dolakha Eye Center renovations complete

Renovations to upgrade the Dolakha Community Eye Center in Nepal are complete. Since November 2010, when HCP committed essential funds allowing Tilganga to take over the eye center’s management, more than 10,500 patients have benefited from its services. Tilganga’s clinical staff travels to Dolakha four times a year to perform outreach surgical events at the facility.

“Before” (left) and “after” pictures of the Dolakha Community Eye Center.

Tilganga residents train at Geisinger

TIO Residents Muktibahen Patel and Rajya Gurung (in front row) with Dr. Marks and staff at Geisinger Health Systems Eye Clinic.

Two residents from HCP’s flagship partner in Nepal, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, spent one month at Geisinger Health Systems Eye Clinic in late May / early-June with HCP volunteer ophthalmologist Dr. Steve Marks. They focused on Retina, Pediatrics, and Neuro-Ophthalmology. Dr. Marks generously volunteers his time teaching residents both at his home institute and overseas, and he recently returned from a teaching visit to Tilganga where he worked with all first year residents. Thanks, Dr. Marks!


HCP launches Facebook page

Visit HCP’s new Facebook page for updates, photos and videos — and don't forget to “like” our new page!

Television interview features HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist

Dr. Crandall at work in South Sudan.

HCP Affiliated Ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Crandall was recently featured in a television interview about HCP’s work in South Sudan in December. Dr. Crandall joined Dr. Geoff Tabin and partners from the John Dau Foundation and the Moran Eye Center to provide cataract care in a remote area of South Sudan.

You can watch the interview online, here.

Dr. Geoff Tabin conducting surgery in India.

The Himalayan Cataract Project works to eradicate preventable and curable blindness through high quality ophthalmic care, education and the establishment of a world-class eye care infrastructure.

Please visit our Web site at www.cureblindness.org to keep up with the latest HCP news. There you will also find information on HCP’s finances, its founders, staff and board members, and ways that you can give the gift of sight.

Remember, through the Himalayan Cataract Project it takes a gift of only $20 to provide life-changing cataract surgery to someone struggling with blindness in the developing world.

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