Back-to-Back Outreach Events in Ethiopia
Five outreach events result in over 5,000 sight-restoring surgeries
HCP is partnered with institutions across Ethiopia and with the Federal Ministry of Health to provide high-quality, low-cost cataract surgery to patients who otherwise would have no access to eye care services. We have worked to expand partnerships and increase outreach in a continued effort to address the backlog of cataract blindness in Ethiopia, estimated at 600,000. Our efforts include high-volume cataract outreach events including five that took place this month resulting in a total of 5,351 sight-restoring surgeries.
The first outreach event in this series was in Dessie, Ethiopia where an amazing team of doctors, nurses, ophthalmic technicians and outreach coordinators from Boru Meda Hospital performed 1,677 sight-restoring surgeries (1,657 cataract, 20 Trachoma Trichiasis), April 1-6. This outreach was led by HCP Partner, Dr. Muluken Fantaw and HCP Co-Founder, Dr. Geoff Tabin. This outreach concluded with another milestone: 1,657 cataract surgeries provided in a week's time at a single outreach event - setting a new record!
The second outreach was held April 8-12 in Blue Hora, Ethiopia. Led by Dr. Dawit Gidey from HCP Partner Institution, Arba Minch Hospital, the talented eye care team performed 461 sight-restoring surgeries.
The third outreach was in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital from April 15-19. The talented eye care team there performed 1,668 sight-restoring surgeries, led by HCP Board Member, Dr. Matt Oliva; from Nepal, Tilganga Master Trainer, Dr. Ben Limbu; local HCP Partners, Dr. Muluken Fantaw, Dr. Hiwot Mengistie, Dr. Abraham Aregay and Dr. Cherinet Markos, a resident from St. Paul's Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa.
Our fourth outreach was through local partnership with Woldiya Hospital in Meket - one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Dr. Kindye Wale led a team who performed 331 sight-restoring surgeries, April 15-18.
For our final outreach of the month, Dr. Matt Oliva traveled to Bisidimo to lead this outreach with Dr. Yonas Mitku from Quiha General Hospital & Tertiary Eye Care Center in Mekelle, Ethiopia and Emory Global Ophthalmology Fellow, Dr. Keri Allen, April 21-26. The dedicated team of nurses, ophthalmic assistants and optometrists from Bisidimo Hospital did an amazing job, Dr. Oliva had this to say about the outreach, “We completed 1,214 surgeries. Nearly 300 of those were bilaterally blind patients. There is an amazing need here and so many lives have been changed.”