April Newsletter Highlights
Ethiopia: Helping Hundreds in Harar
High-Volume Cataract Campaign at Bisidimo Hospital
HCP continues to increase its efforts to support eye care services in remote areas of Ethiopia, working with local partners. This month, Board Member Dr. Matt Oliva led a team in a high-volume cataract campaign at Bisidimo Hospital in Harar, Ethiopia during which 953 surgeries were provided in just five days. Dr. Oliva estimates that close to 100 patients were bilaterally blind and had surgery on both eyes.
The success of this surgical campaign and others like it is the local team of ophthalmologists and nurses. Local ophthalmic nurses Marta and Munira continue to do a fantastic job in the organization of the surgical event which is key to providing high-quality and high-volume care. Furthermore, the annual number of cataract surgeries that Bisidimo provides continues to grow reflecting the quality of care being provided.
Dr. Oliva was joined by past and current HCP International Fellows Drs. Michael Feilmeier and John Welling. Dr. Feilmeier has gone on to establish an International Division of Ophthalmology at the University of Nebraska and that Division helped support this outreach.
Just this week, Co-Founder Dr. Geoff Tabin led a cataract program in Axum in the Tigray region, where together with partners from Quiha Zonal Hospital, they provided 563 sight restoring cataract surgeries.
HCP Partners with SightLife to Provide Surgeon Training
SightLife organized a corneal surgeon training program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this month in conjunction with Himalayan Cataract Project and our local partners. HCP has worked with SightLife and ORBIS International since 2011 to improve cornea care in Ethiopia and this training represents a significant milestone in that effort. Dr. Doug Holsclaw, one of the Visiting Faculty, remarked with enthusiasm that “eliminating world cornea blindness has taken a giant leap forward.”
All eight of Ethiopia’s corneal surgeons attended the surgeon training and more than 60 ophthalmologists attended lectures. Course faculty included Drs. Matt Oliva, Doug Holsclaw, Michael Feilmeier and Srinivas Rao.
Dr. Geoff Tabin Speaks at USAID/ASHA Conference
Himalayan Cataract Project co-founder Dr. Geoffrey Tabin was honored to be a featured speaker at the Annual USAID American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) conference attended by hundreds of representatives from past and future grantees. Dr. Tabin’s presentation described the early days of HCP, what challenges the organization faced along the way, and how it has been successful in promoting its work in an effort to ensure sustainability.
USAID/ASHA directly contributes to U.S. foreign policy and public diplomacy objectives by fostering strong civil society institutions and excellence in higher education and innovation. The networks of educational and medical institutions supported by USAID/ASHA offer opportunities to access quality education and health services in areas of the world where often few or none exist. USAID/ASHA partners have educated successive generations of global citizens and leaders, deepening their understanding of American ideas and practices. USAID/ASHA is one of HCP's longest standing partners and most significant donors.
HCP Partner in Ghana Featured in USAID/ASHA Newsletter
The Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) was spotlighted in the USAID/ASHA April newsletter for increasing its solar power use and setting a record during an HCP-supported high-volume cataract campaign in March.
Shifting to solar power has allowed KATH to cut down on its energy bill and have reliable uninterrupted power, which is critical to running an efficient and safe operating theatre.
The solar power accomplishments were also featured in Ghana Business News.