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Dorcas is a 16 year-old girl from Awaso in the Western Region of Ghana, who had to drop out of school because she was being ridiculed for having a “bad” eye.
As a result of an injury, she developed a cataract. Though surgery was recommended, she lived over 250 km, over a poor network of roads, from the regional capital of Takoradi where she could get care, and she was unable to make the trip. As she approached her senior year of school where she would be a boarder, she refused to go for fear of being ridiculed.
At the end of February, HCP partner Dr. Boateng Wiafe of Operation Eyesight Universal led an outreach surgical campaign at Bibiani District Hospital in the Western region of Ghana. The week prior to the event, a screening team consisting of an optometrist and two supporting staff from the local facility worked with community leaders to identify and screen patients. During the screening, 493 people from seven clusters were examined, with 88 referred for surgery. A minibus was hired to transport the patients to the hospital for surgery and back to their communities after post operative review. A total of 89 surgeries were performed, including 76 cataract surgeries, one of which was for Dorcas.
“Now that I am seeing well and the white thing is gone away, I am now willing to continue to go to school,” reported Dorcas who wants to become a nurse when she grows up so she can help others.