Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) is HCP’s original partner in Ghana with a staff of 31, including eight ophthalmologists and eleven Ophthalmology MD residents.
The Himalayan Cataract Project supported the new construction of the KATH Eye Center a free-standing building with state-of-the-art ophthalmic equipment, which was inaugurated in 2014. HCP also supports specialized training opportunities for KATH staff, and averages periodic on-site mentoring visits quarterly. In 2016, co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin and other HCP affiliated ophthalmologists conducted training workshops at KATH on topics including cornea, glaucoma and phacoemulsification surgery. In addition to in-country workshops, HCP has provided training opportunities for 30 ophthalmic personnel from Ghana, from ophthalmic nursing and optometry to sub-specialty fellowships.
As a result of HCP’s investments in training and infrastructure, The KATH Eye Center is making great strides in increasing their surgical output, with over 2,400 surgeries provided in 2016.
HCP’s relationship with KATH began in 2006 when Co-founder Dr. Geoff Tabin became Director of the International Division of Ophthalmology at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah. Prior to Dr. Tabin’s arrival, Drs. Alan Crandall and Robert Hoffman had been working with ophthalmologists from KATH for over a decade. Dr. Tabin saw an opportunity through HCP to begin investing in training the clinical team with the long-term goal of improving eye care in Ghana, encouraging trained ophthalmologists to stay in country and increasing the country’s cataract surgical rate.
In 2007, HCP committed to a five-year $1,500,000 budget to establish a center of excellence to serve West Africa and included significant investments in training and infrastructure. The KATH Eye Center, the construction of which was funded by USAID ASHA, was inaugurated in 2014 and has since become a surgical and training hub in Ghana. Since then, HCP has continued to provide the KATH Eye Center with cutting edge technology, including operating microscopes, wet lab equipment, and the tools necessary to open a profitable in-hospital optical shop.
HCP collaborates closely with Orbis International and the Moran Eye Center to provide specialized training opportunities to all ophthalmic personnel through hospital based programs provided in the trainee’s home institution and/or offsite in the United States, Nepal, India and the United Kingdom.
In the past couple years, HCP has expanded its reach in Ghana to include partnerships with the Tamale Teaching Hospital in the Northern region, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra and Operation Eyesight Universal, a Canadian INGO also working to reduce needless blindness in Ghana.